verb (used with object), rec·om·pensed, rec·om·pens·ing.

  1. to repay; remunerate; reward, as for service, aid, etc.
  2. to pay or give compensation for; make restitution or requital for (damage, injury, or the like).

verb (used without object), rec·om·pensed, rec·om·pens·ing.

  1. to make compensation for something; repay someone: no attempt to recompense for our trouble.


  1. compensation, as for an injury, wrong, etc.: to make recompense for the loss one’s carelessness has caused.
  2. a repayment or requital, as for favors, gifts, etc.
  3. a remuneration or reward, as for services, aid, or the like.


  1. (tr) to pay or reward for service, work, etc
  2. (tr) to compensate for loss, injury, etc


  1. compensation for loss, injury, etcto make recompense
  2. reward, remuneration, or repayment

early 15c., from Middle French recompense (13c.), related to recompenser “make good, recompense” from Late Latin recompensare (see recompense (v.)).


c.1400, “to redress,” from Middle French recompenser (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin recompensare “to reward, remunerate,” from Latin re- “again” (see re-) + compensare “balance out,” literally “weigh together” (see compensate). From early 15c. as “to compensate.” Related: Recompensed; recompensing.

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