com·pile | \ kəm-ˈpī(-ə)l \
compiled; compiling

Definition of compile 

transitive verb

1 : to compose out of materials from other documents compile a statistical chart

2 : to collect and edit into a volume compile a book of poems

3 : to build up gradually compiled a record of four wins and two losses

4 : to run (something, such as a program) through a compiler

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for compile


anthologize, collect

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of compile in a Sentence

He compiled a book of poems. She compiled a list of names. They took the best submissions and compiled them in a single issue of the magazine. We compiled our findings in the report.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

State officials are expected to compile such a list. Michael Dresser, Washington Post, "Regulators investigate Maryland medical marijuana grower for alleged pesticide use," 10 July 2018 Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday, where each week Billboard taps chart-topping artists and taste-makers to compile their very own playlist exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Takeover Tuesday Playlist: We the Kings Honor Final Warped Tour With Their Favorite Emo Artists," 10 July 2018 The volunteer coordinator is compiling a list of interested individuals. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 10 July 2018 State officials are expected to compile such a list. Michael Dresser,, "Regulators investigating Maryland medical marijuana grower for alleged pesticide use," 9 July 2018 The majority are directly linked to the infamous Steele Dossier, as well as the firm Fusion GPS that was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to compile the research. Catherine Herridge, Fox News, "DOJ, FBI still not in full compliance with document request: sources," 6 July 2018 In an effort to shed light on Tesla executives who aren’t named Elon Musk, Bloomberg searched public references and interviewed several current and former employees to compile a list of 30 key executives. Dana Hull,, "Elon Musk Doesn’t Work Alone. These Are Tesla’s Other Key Leaders," 26 June 2018 Officials were able to compile a comprehensive map of his 12,898 different locations over the course of 127 days. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Law Enforcement Agencies Need a Warrant to Access Cellphone Location Data, Supreme Court Rules," 22 June 2018 Synthesio pulls data from a number of platforms to compile its rankings, including Twitter, YouTube and online forums. Pete Keeley, The Hollywood Reporter, "E3: Nintendo, Capcom Top Social Media Rankings," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of compile

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compile

Middle English, from Anglo-French compiler, from Latin compilare to plunder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compile

Statistics for compile

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compile

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for compile



English Language Learners Definition of compile

: to create (a CD, book, list, etc.) by gathering things (such as songs or pieces of writing or information)

: to put together (various songs, pieces of writing, facts, etc.) in a publication or collection

computers : to change (computer programming instructions) into a form the computer can understand and use


com·pile | \ kəm-ˈpīl \
compiled; compiling

Kids Definition of compile

1 : to create by gathering things together She compiled a list of names.

2 : to put things together in a publication or collection

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on compile

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


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!