I need to make two datasets commensurate. Can I "commensurate" them?

  • @JohnClifford - Since I found it in my large dead-tree OED (whose sheer mass makes it about as "official" as you can get, short of reanimating the ghost of Samuel Johnson) I went ahead and made it an "answer." I agree though, that it's not a locution I'd live to love. Cheers!
    – Rob_Ster
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 15:50
  • Depending on exactly what you want to say, maybe "reconcile" would meet your needs. I say this mostly because, like others, I happen to to like the sound of commensurate as a transitive verb. Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:54
  • wouldn't condition them work?
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 16:21
  • commensurate - corresponding in size or degree; in proportion. synonyms: equivalent, equal, corresponding, correspondent, comparable, proportionate, proportional. You might consider equalize (or perhaps normalize if you're using commensurate more loosely to mean "easily compared, having similar values in the same units of measure"). But OED has as definition 2 for the verb commensurate: (trans.) To make commensurate; to proportion; to make to correspond in nature. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


According to the OED, you can. It lists a transitive definition of commensurate with a citation in 1655. If you wish to "proportion, or make to correspond in nature", then this is your word.


Just because this use of commensurate appears in the OED, don't feel compelled to adopt it, however.

The Ngram viewer shows a frequency of 0.000001% for the infinitive "to commensurate" - not an altogether fair snapshot, but enough to suggest that one uses the word as a verb at the peril of having it questioned here on EL&U or by even higher authorities.

  • If I were going to use any verb for this, I'd probably use "proportion" as that is a better-known more commonly-used one. Good find, though, +1. Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 15:47
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    Several of those ngram hits are of the form incommensurate-to-commensurate and entitled to commensurate wages. These are not transitive forms, so I'll take the invitation and question the proposed usage.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 8:09

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