Comprise vs compromise

Comprise and compromise are two words that are very close in spelling and pronunciation, but have very different meanings. We will look at the differing definitions of comprise and compromise, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Comprise means to consist of, to make up a whole. Comprise is a verb, related words are comprises, comprised, comprising. The word comprise is derived from the Old French word compris, which means to contain.

Compromise means to settle a dispute through concessions on both sides, or it may mean to settle for something that is substandard. Accordingly, compromise may be a positive situation or a negative situation. When two people compromise in order to come to an agreement that both sides may find acceptable, though not ideal, compromise may be a positive situation. When someone gives in to social or financial pressure and accepts an outcome that is substandard, shoddy or even dangerous, compromise is a negative situation. Compromises are common in good systems of government. For instance, the Great Compromise of 1787, also known as the Connecticut Compromise or the Sherman Compromise instituted the type of legislature that is still in use in the United States today. At the Constitutional Convention, the Great Compromise was suggested, taking into account the concerns of both large and small states by instituting the bicameral system. The upper house, or the U.S. Senate, is made up of two representatives from each state, giving these states an equal voice. The lower house, or U.S. House of Representatives, is also made up of delegates from each state. However, the number of representatives from each state is determined by the population of that state. Part of the Great Compromise involved counting each slave as three-fifths of a person, certainly an example where a compromise between the founding fathers resulted in a negative outcome. Compromise is used as a noun and as a verb, related words are compromises, compromised, compromising. The word compromise is derived from the Latin word compromissus which means agreeing to arbitration.


Under standard occupational classifications with major titles, office administration support occupations comprise 15 percent of the total, with an hourly wage rate mean of $11.35; management occupations comprise 11 percent, with an hourly wage rate mean of $20.57; food preparation and serving-related occupations, 10 percent, with an hourly wage rate mean of $8.62; sales and related occupations, 7 percent, with an hourly wage rate mean of $7.99; and construction and extraction occupation, 7 percent, with an hourly wage rate mean of $8.50. (The Saipan Tribune)

In Thames, the land, buildings and business comprising the substantial and high-tech heavy engineering operation of A.G. Price has been placed on the market for sale or lease. (The New Zealand Herald)

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday he sees the possibility for compromise after President Donald Trump gave Congress six months to resolve the status of young immigrants living in the country illegally. (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)


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