Definition of recompense in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate.

    ‘offenders should recompense their victims’
    ‘he was recompensed for the wasted time’
    • ‘They are protesting over the Bank's failure to recompense them for produce sold to the now defunct meat plant, but never paid for.’
    • ‘In high-profile cases, the tobacco industry has recently paid enormous amounts to recompense individuals damaged by its products.’
    • ‘He stressed that if mistakes were made the public should be recompensed.’
    • ‘The insurance company accepted this, but they still only want to recompense us to the tune of less than a third of what we thought we'd insured ourselves for.’
    • ‘Even Alexander the Great had to recompense an Athenian who was robbed on the way to Olympia.’
    • ‘A spokesperson yesterday confirmed that those who had been disadvantaged by the regulation from April 1998 would be recompensed over the next four months.’
    • ‘‘Every effort will be made to ensure that, where they can be identified, those customers will be fully recompensed,’ Mr O'Reilly said.’
    • ‘He said that if passengers were more than a hour late because of the breakdown they should send in their tickets and they would be recompensed under the company's customer charter.’
    • ‘America had been insisting the World Bank was recompensed through cuts in aid programmes to Africa.’
    • ‘The council will pay tens of thousands of pounds out to its biggest trade union to recompense staff said to have been distressed over a jobs transfer.’
    • ‘We've paid all this money to recompense the music industry for piracy.’
    • ‘We are disappointed by the failure of the bus company to offer to recompense her.’
    • ‘Now, he obviously can't completely recompense those who lost their loved ones, but he needs to do what he can to do that.’
    • ‘But when the church has knowingly let children suffer, it has lost its claim to the moral high ground until it has recompensed those who have been harmed.’
    • ‘Compensation for those wrongly convicted isn't just to recompense them, it's supposed to express our disapproval of their conviction in the way that a civil case would punish a negligent surgeon.’
    • ‘He also said that they were the ones who had suffered the most from the regime, and so should be recompensed now.’
    • ‘And today we are still fighting to make sure the company makes available enough money to recompense its victims.’
    • ‘He will not be paid but he will be recompensed for lost wages.’
    • ‘If the club fails to pay back the debt, the bondholders would be given the proceeds from the ticket sales to recompense them.’
    • ‘They say that they want the United Nations to establish a fund to recompense them for their massive losses.’
    compensate, indemnify, repay, reimburse, pay money to, make reparation to, make restitution to, make amends to
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    1. 1.1 Pay or reward (someone) for effort or work.
      ‘he was handsomely recompensed’
      • ‘Remember if you do something world changing, you are likely to get handsomely recompensed for it.’
      • ‘Companies can, of course, recompense their senior employees as they see fit, in line with what they perceive as the going rate for the jobs they do.’
      • ‘Indeed, even trainers of junior club teams are well recompensed for their input, and few are formally equipped for the role either.’
      • ‘Councillors are entitled to basic allowances to recompense them for the hours they put in sitting on committees and reading reports and agendas.’
      • ‘Although the fund has been formed to recompense members for performing their duties, councillors were told they should not feel forced to accept the money.’
      • ‘Breeders working to a business plan who market themselves well and who keep abreast of developments in the industry, will be well recompensed for their efforts.’
      • ‘Last summer, school management bodies raised the possibility of the principals and their deputies being recompensed for the extra burden.’
      • ‘Alpaca farmers will be well recompensed for their efforts in farming these rare animals.’
      reward, pay, pay back
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    2. 1.2 Make amends to or reward someone for (loss, harm, or effort)
      ‘he thought his loyalty had been inadequately recompensed’
      • ‘In my case, though I cannot walk, this is recompensed with a lot of strength and motivation.’
      • ‘However, I believe that these complications will be a thousand times recompensed by the fundamental and long-standing significance of this enlargement.’
      • ‘When the costs of crime are assessed, account should be taken of losses recompensed through insurance.’
      • ‘He had no thought as to whether such toil would be recompensed in coin of the realm; in fact, it was his conviction that it was scarcely likely to bring him any money at all.’
      • ‘In the first year, the losses will be recompensed by a one-time pay-out.’
      • ‘She feels that this has more than recompensed her burning desire to be a journalist.’
      • ‘No one could fail to be moved by the statements of the family and no sentence I can pass may in any way recompense their loss.’
      • ‘Henry knows how to recognize merit where merit is due, and he recompenses it.’
      make up for, compensate for, make amends for, make restitution for, make reparation for, redress, make good, satisfy
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    3. 1.3archaic Punish or reward (someone) appropriately for an action.
      ‘according to their doings will he recompense them’


  • 1Compensation or reward given for loss or harm suffered or effort made.

    ‘substantial damages were paid in recompense’
    • ‘It would be just for us to get some recompense for what we suffered.’
    • ‘He dug a coin out of the purse dangling from his belt; it was almost all of what he had, but he wouldn't feel right if he didn't offer her something in recompense.’
    • ‘The least the new Minister could do in recompense for this disgraceful episode is offer the girl and her grandmother a place in New Zealand, if they wish to take it up.’
    • ‘He said: ‘We are not trying to jump on the pay bandwagon, but if somebody is to go to meetings, there should be recompense for loss of earnings.’’
    • ‘In recompense, the company offered $100 gift certificates to customers who didn't get their packages.’
    • ‘In recompense, though, they provide much more extensive information than the other museums about each work.’
    • ‘So much focus is placed on the feelings of the victim's families these days that I think we may have lost sight of the fact that there can be no recompense for the loss of a loved one.’
    • ‘They suffer, they die, yet they won't receive any recompense.’
    • ‘However, asking for direct recompense is problematic for several reasons.’
    • ‘He deserved any extra proceeds that might have resulted from the increase in the cost of building materials he used, and he deserves recompense for all his efforts to improve the property and renovate it over time.’
    • ‘If people's legal rights to seek recompense for harm done to them are to be curtailed, there has to be some guarantee that the burden of their care does not fall on them alone.’
    • ‘One of the interesting things for me is that these Australian scientists really want to come home, if only they can continue with their research and receive adequate recompense for that research.’
    • ‘A letter from the company's lawyers soon brought the newspaper to heel and an appropriate sum in recompense was negotiated, the main beneficiary of which is a local centre for disabled children.’
    • ‘The Church found abundant recompense for the loss of temporal authority in the rediscovery of its spiritual primacy.’
    • ‘Mothers do this out of pure love - without any desire for reward or recompense.’
    • ‘The dangers of not doing so are self-explanatory: either paying higher premiums than necessary or not getting adequate recompense if your property is under-insured.’
    • ‘We must remember that in a fair society, an individual who has genuinely incurred loss due to the negligence of another, should have some recompense for that loss.’
    • ‘In recompense, he was given a free chicken salad sandwich and all the sweets he could eat.’
    • ‘Instead, everyone who works in the garden can take produce home in recompense for his or her efforts.’
    • ‘The wind had quieted, fortunately, but as if in recompense, the snow underneath them had become less firm.’
    compensation, reparation, restitution, indemnification, indemnity
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    1. 1.1archaic Restitution made or punishment inflicted for a wrong or injury.
      • ‘If you do this you will be required to make recompense for your transgression to the political leaders of the parliament.’
      • ‘We have to realize that we can make recompense for certain sins, but we cannot make recompense for other things and sins.’
      punishment, penalty, nemesis, fate, doom, one's just deserts, due reward, just reward, wages
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Late Middle English: from Old French, from the verb recompenser ‘do a favor to requite a loss’, from late Latin recompensare, from Latin re- ‘again’ (also expressing intensive force) + compensare ‘weigh one thing against another’.