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Etymology edit

From Middle French compromis, from Medieval Latin, Late Latin compromissum (a compromise, originally a mutual promise to refer to arbitration), prop. neuter of Latin compromissus, past participle of compromittere (to make a mutual promise to abide by the decision of an arbiter), from com- (together) + promittere (to promise); see promise.

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Noun edit

compromise (countable and uncountable, plural compromises)

  1. The settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      But basely yielded upon compromise / That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows.
    • 1775, Edmund Burke, Conciliation with America:
      All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.
    • 1827, Henry Hallam, The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Murray, [], →OCLC:
      An abhorrence of concession and compromise is a never failing characteristic of religious factions.
    • 2021 June 30, Philip Haigh, “Regional trains squeezed as ECML congestion heads north”, in RAIL, number 934, page 53:
      That's the nature of compromises. They truly satisfy no one.
  2. A committal to something derogatory or objectionable; a prejudicial concession; a surrender.
    a compromise of character or right
    • 1823, Charles Lamb, Modern Gallantry:
      I was determined not to accept any fine speeches, to the compromise of that sex the belonging to which was, after all, my strongest claim and title to them.
  3. (computer security) A breach of a computer or network's rules such that an unauthorized disclosure or loss of sensitive information may have occurred, or the unauthorized disclosure or loss itself.

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Verb edit

compromise (third-person singular simple present compromises, present participle compromising, simple past and past participle compromised)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To bind by mutual agreement.
  2. To adjust and settle by mutual concessions; to compound.
    Synonym: split the difference
    • a. 1662 (date written), Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England, London: [] J[ohn] G[rismond,] W[illiam] L[eybourne] and W[illiam] G[odbid], published 1662, →OCLC:
      The controversy may easily be compromised.
  3. (intransitive) To find a way between extremes.
  4. To pledge by some act or declaration; to endanger the life, reputation, etc., of, by some act which can not be recalled; to expose to suspicion.
  5. (transitive) To cause impairment of.
  6. (transitive) To breach (a security system).
    They tried to compromise the security in the computer by guessing the password.

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  1. third-person singular past historic of compromettere