Entries linking to decompensation
active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.
As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.
late 14c., "action of compensating," from Latin compensationem (nominative compensatio) "a weighing one thing against another, a balancing," noun of action from past participle stem of compensare "to weigh one thing (against another)," thus, "to counterbalance," from com "with, together" (see com-) + pensare, frequentative of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen-"to draw, stretch, spin").
Meaning "what is given in recompense" is from c. 1600; meaning "amends for loss or damages" is from 1804; meaning "salary, wages" is attested from 1787, American English. The psychological sense is from 1914.