compensate vs redress what difference

what is difference between compensate and redress



Borrowed from Latin compensatus, past participle of compensare (to weight together one thing against another, balance, make good, later also shorten, spare), from com- (together) + pensare (to weight).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkɒm.pən.seɪt/, /ˈkɒm.pɛn.seɪt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɑm.pənˌseɪt/
  • Rhymes: -eɪt


compensate (third-person singular simple present compensates, present participle compensating, simple past and past participle compensated)

  1. To do (something good) after (something bad) happens
  2. To pay or reward someone in exchange for work done or some other consideration.
    It is hard work, but they will compensate you well for it.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To make up for; to do something in place of something else; to correct, satisfy; to reach an agreement such that the scales are literally or (metaphorically) balanced; to equalize or make even.
    His loud voice cannot compensate for a lack of personality.
    To compensate me for his tree landing on my shed, my neighbor paved my driveway.
    • , Preface
      The pleasures of life do not compensate the miseries.
  4. To adjust or adapt to a change, often a harm or deprivation.
    I don’t like driving that old car because it always steers a little to the left so I’m forever compensating for that when I drive it. Trust me, it gets annoying real fast.
    To compensate for his broken leg, Gary uses crutches.


  • (to do something good): See Thesaurus:compensate
  • (to pay): guerdon, reimburse; see also Thesaurus:reimburse
  • (to adjust to a change): acclimatize, acclimate, accommodate, accustom, adapt; see also Thesaurus:accustom
  • (to make up for): See Thesaurus:atone or Thesaurus:offset

Derived terms

  • recompensate

Related terms

  • compensation
  • compensatory
  • compensable
  • compensably
  • recompense


Further reading

  • compensate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • compensate in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.




  1. inflection of compensare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of compensato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of compēnsō


Etymology 1

From Middle English redressen, from Anglo-Norman radresser, redrescer, redrescier and Middle French redresser (to stand (someone or something) up; to stand up again; to rebuild, to repair something damaged, to rectify, to restore; to obtain redress; to cure; (of hair) to stand on end; to revise a judgment) (modern French redresser), from Old French redrecier (to stand (someone or something) up; to stand up again), from Old French re- (prefix meaning ‘again, once more’) (from Latin re-, from Proto-Italic *wre (again); further etymology uncertain) + Old French drechier, drecier, dresser (to dress; to stand up) (from Vulgar Latin *drēctiāre, a contracted form of *dirēctiāre, from Latin dīrectus (straight)).

Compare Catalan redreçar, Spanish redreçar (obsolete), Italian redreçare, redrezare, redricciare, ridirizzare (all obsolete), ridrizzare, Late Latin redressare (to repair; to set right), Old Occitan redreisar, redresar.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈdɹɛs/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɹiˈdɹɛs/, /ɹəˈdɹɛs/
  • Rhymes: -ɛs
  • Hyphenation: re‧dress


redress (third-person singular simple present redresses, present participle redressing, simple past and past participle redressed)

  1. To put in order again; to set right; to revise.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker under Creed Church neer Aldgate; And by Robert Boulter at the Turks Head in Bishopsgate-street; and Matthias Walker, under St. Dunstons Church in Fleet-street, OCLC 767532218, book IX; republished as John Milton; Elijah Fenton; Samuel Johnson, Paradise Lost, by John Milton. To which are Prefixed, the Life of the Author, by Elijah Fenton; and a Criticism on the Poem, by Dr. Johnson, London: Printed for John Bumpus, Holborn-Bars, 1821, OCLC 563126389, page 256:
      Let us divide our labours; thou, where choice / Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind / The woodbine round this arbour, or direct / The clasping ivy where to climb; while I, / In yonder spring of roses intermixed / With myrtle, find what to redress till noon: []
    • 1796 May 10, Alexander Hamilton, letter to George Washington; quoted in George Washington; Jared Sparks, compiler, “Washington’s Farewell Address [Appendix, No. III]”, in The Writings of George Washington; being His Correspondence, Addresses, Messages, and Other Papers, Official and Private, Selected and Published from the Original Manuscripts; with a Life of the Author, Notes, and Illustrations, volume XII (Part Fifth; Comprising Speeches and Messages to Congress, Proclamations, and Addresses), Boston, Mass.: American Stationers’ Company; John B. Russell; Cambridge, Mass.: Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, 1837, OCLC 29437768, page 391:
      Sir; When last in Philadelphia, you mentioned to me your wish that I should re-dress a certain paper, which you had prepared. As it is important, that a thing of this kind should be done with great care, and much at leisure, touched and retouched, I submit a wish, that, as soon as you have given it the body you mean it to have, it may be sent to me.
  2. To set right (a wrong); to repair, (an injury); to make amends for; to remedy; to relieve from.
  3. To make amends or compensation to; to relieve of anything unjust or oppressive; to bestow relief upon.
    • 1847, Augustin Thierry; William Hazlitt, transl., “The Anglo-Normans and the English by Race”, in History of the Conquest of England by the Normans: Its Causes, and Its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, and on the Continent […] Translated from the 7th Paris edition by William Hazlitt, […], volume II, London: D. Bogue, OCLC 458279441; reprinted Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, →ISBN, pages=357–358, footnote:
      [Magna Charta] [I]f we, our justiciary, our bailiffs, or any of our officers, shall in any circumstance fail in the performance of them, towards any person, or shall break through any of these articles of peace and security, and the offence be notified to four barons chosen out of the five-and-twenty before mentioned, the said four barons shall repair to us, or our justiciary, if we are out of the realm, and laying open the grievance, shall petition to have it redressed without delay: and if it be not redressed by us, or if we should chance to be out of the realm, if it should not be redressed by our justiciary, within forty days, [] the said five-and-twenty barons, together with the community of the whole kingdom, shall distrain and distress us all the ways possible, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, and in other manner they can, till the grievance is redressed according to their pleasure; []
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To put upright again; to restore.
Derived terms
  • redresser
  • self-redress


redress (countable and uncountable, plural redresses)

  1. The act of redressing; a making right; amendment; correction; reformation.
  2. A setting right, as of injury, oppression, or wrong, such as the redress of grievances; hence, indemnification; relief; remedy; reparation.
    • 1791 December 15 (adoption), First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  3. One who, or that which, gives relief; a redresser.

Etymology 2

re- +‎ dress.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌɹiːˈdɹɛs/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɹiˈdɹɛs/
  • Hyphenation: re‧dress


redress (third-person singular simple present redresses, present participle redressing, simple past and past participle redressed)

  1. To dress again.
    • 2009, John C. Barber, The Joy of Medical Practice: Forty Years of Interesting Patients (page 22)
      I talked with her mother whenever she was in the room while I redressed the wound.
  2. (film) To redecorate a previously existing film set so that it can double for another set.


redress (plural redresses)

  1. (film) The redecoration of a previously existing film set so that it can double for another set.

Further reading

  • redress (disambiguation) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • redress (film) on Wikipedia.Wikipedia


  • Dresser, dresser

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