I am currently writing my company's blog, using one of Sherlock Holmes series, Scandal in Bohemia.
In the course of reading, I encountered a sentence.
"The circumstances are of great delicacy, and every precaution has to be taken to quench what might grow to be an immense scandal and seriously compromise one of the reigning families of Europe. To speak plainly, the matter implicates the great House of Ormstein, hereditary kings of Bohemia."
Here, I got confused about the verb "compromise" since to me it ordinarily addresses "some kind of mutual piece".
So I checked the dictionary, Merriam Unabridged.
Merriam Unabridged says,
a of an arbiter : to adjust or settle (a difference) between parties
b : to bind by mutual agreement
of factions : to adjust or settle by partial mutual relinquishment of principles, position, or claims : settle by coming to terms
"husband and wife compromised their differences"
a : to put in jeopardy : endanger (as life, reputation, or dignity) by some act that cannot be recalled : expose to suspicion, discredit, or mischief
"compromise one's conscience"
"compromise national security"
b : to cause (a person) embarrassment, humiliation, or shame by improper sexual advances or by allowing the suspicion of such to arise
"in those days a girl was compromised if she danced more than twice with the same man"
c : to reveal or expose to unauthorized persons and especially to an enemy (the nature, details, or workings of classified matter or a classified device)
"capture of a number of unenciphered messages will compromise the cryptographic system"
d : to cause the impairment of
"a compromised immune system"
"a seriously compromised patient"
a : to come to a settlement or agreement by mutual concession
"union and employer agreed to compromise"
b : to find or follow a way between extremes
to make a shameful or disreputable concession
"rather die than compromise"
— often used with with
Now, I understand the definition of the verb in the context falls under the transitive verb's 3 a considering the context.
However, if you look at the whole sets of definition by the dictionary, even the definitions within transitive verbs vary or moreover contradicts.
In such a circumstances, would the best way to solve to decide which definition (or meaning) be "just get used to" or "to memorize"?