com·​pact | \ kəm-ˈpakt , käm-ˈpakt, ˈkäm-ˌpakt\

Definition of compact

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : predominantly formed or filled : composed, made Miss Austen's novels are compact of delicate trivialities …— Samuel Alexander
2a : having a dense structure or parts or units closely packed or joined a compact woolen compact bone
b : not diffuse or verbose a compact statement
c : occupying a small volume by reason of efficient use of space a compact camera a compact formation of troops
d : short-bodied, solid, and without excess flesh He had a small, compact body that looked full of life.— D. H. Lawrence
3 : being a topological space and especially a metric space with the property that for any collection of open sets which contains it there is a subset of the collection with a finite number of elements which also contains it


compacted; compacting; compacts

Definition of compact (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to make up by connecting or combining : compose
2a : to knit or draw together : combine
b : to press together : compress


noun (1)
com·​pact | \ ˈkäm-ˌpakt \

Definition of compact (Entry 3 of 4)

: something that is compact or compacted:
a : a small cosmetic case (as for compressed powder)
b : an automobile smaller than an intermediate but larger than a subcompact


noun (2)
com·​pact | \ ˈkäm-ˌpakt \

Definition of compact (Entry 4 of 4)

: an agreement or covenant between two or more parties

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Other Words from compact


compactly \ kəm-​ˈpak(t)-​lē , käm-​ˈpak(t)-​ , ˈkäm-​ˌpak(t)-​ \ adverb
compactness \ kəm-​ˈpak(t)-​nəs , käm-​ˈpak(t)-​ , ˈkäm-​ˌpak(t)-​ \ noun


compactible \ kəm-​ˈpak-​tə-​bəl , käm-​ˈpak-​ , ˈkäm-​ˌpak-​ \ adjective
compactor or less commonly compacter \ kəm-​ˈpak-​tər , käm-​ˈpak-​ , ˈkäm-​ˌpak-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for compact

Synonyms: Adjective

firm, hard, rigid, solid, stiff, unyielding

Synonyms: Verb

center, centralize, concenter, concentrate, consolidate, polarize, unify, unite

Antonyms: Adjective

flabby, soft, spongy, squashy, squishy

Antonyms: Verb

decentralize, deconcentrate, spread (out)

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Examples of compact in a Sentence


The drill has a compact design. the apartment's compact floor plan The cabin was compact but perfectly adequate. He is compact and muscular. He has a compact body.


The snow had compacted into a hard icy layer. the media giant decided to compact all of its far-flung operations onto a single site
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First Known Use of compact


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1601, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1591, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compact

Adjective and Verb

Middle English, firmly put together, from Latin compactus, from past participle of compingere to put together, from com- + pangere to fasten — more at pact

Noun (2)

Latin compactum, from neuter of compactus, past participle of compacisci to make an agreement, from com- + pacisci to contract — more at pact

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Dictionary Entries near compact





compact disc



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Time Traveler for compact

The first known use of compact was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for compact



English Language Learners Definition of compact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: smaller than other things of the same kind
: using little space and having parts that are close together
: closely or firmly packed or joined together



English Language Learners Definition of compact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to press (something) so that it is harder and fills less space


com·​pact | \ kəm-ˈpakt , ˈkäm-ˌpakt\

Kids Definition of compact

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : closely united or packed compact dirt
2 : arranged so as to save space a compact house

Other Words from compact

compactly adverb
compactness noun


compacted; compacting

Kids Definition of compact (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : to draw together : combine
2 : to press together tightly The machine compacts the trash.


com·​pact | \ ˈkäm-ˌpakt \

Kids Definition of compact (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a small case for cosmetics
2 : a somewhat small automobile


com·​pact | \ ˈkäm-ˌpakt \

Kids Definition of compact (Entry 4 of 4)


com·​pact | \ kəm-ˈpakt , käm-ˈ , ˈkäm-ˌ\

Medical Definition of compact

: having a dense structure without small cavities or cells compact bone compare cancellous

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More from Merriam-Webster on compact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compact

Spanish Central: Translation of compact

Nglish: Translation of compact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compact for Arabic Speakers

Comments on compact

What made you want to look up compact? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very full or close together

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