Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Compensation


Quick Summary of Compensation

something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury).

Video Guide For Compensation

What is the dictionary definition of Compensation?

Dictionary Definition

Something, typically money, awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury, or suffering.

  1. The act or principle of compensating.
  2. That which constitutes, or is regarded as, an equivalent; that which makes good the lack or variation of something else; that which compensates for loss or privation; amends; remuneration; recompense.
  3. The extinction of debts of which two persons are reciprocally debtors by the credits of which they are reciprocally creditors; the payment of a debt by a credit of equal amount; a set-off.
  4. A recompense or reward for some loss or service.
  5. An equivalent stipulated for in contracts for the sale of real estate, in which it is customary to provide that errors in description, etc., shall not avoid, but shall be the subject of compensation.

n. 1) payment for work performed, by salary, wages, commission or otherwise. It can include giving goods rather than money. 2) the amount received to “make one whole” (or at least better) after an injury or loss, particularly that paid by an insurance company either of the party causing the damage or by one’s own insurer.

Full Definition of Compensation

A pecuniary remedy that is awarded to an individual who has sustained an injury in order to replace the loss caused by the said injury. More than one type of damages (e.g. direct, incidental, and punitive) may be awarded for a single injury.

Compensation is the money paid to the claimant(s) in a personal injury case after they win an injury case. It can include payment for lost wages (past and future), medical expenses (past and future), death benefits (lost wages and burial expenses) and pain and suffering. Compensation can also be paid by workers’ compensation or insurance companies after an injury or death due to an injury suffered by the deceased while performing their normal job functions. Compensation may also be paid in a wrongful death claim to certain beneficiaries (parents, spouse, minor child or estate) of the deceased.

In the US, compensation in a general sense can also be claimed from Government sources such as the Social Security Administration through disability insurance (SSDI), SSA retirement benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The amount and type of compensation awarded depends on a variety of factors such as work history, the earnings of the worker while they were employed and the amount of taxes paid through their employment to the Federal Government.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Compensation. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
August 12, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Compensation. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: August 12, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Compensation. Retrieved August 12, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Compensation are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th November, 2021 | 0 Views.