com·​pile | \ kəm-ˈpī(-ə)l How to pronounce compile (audio) \
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

Chip and Joanna Gaines may not agree on when to start listening to Christmas music, but the former Fixer Upper stars were able to compile a collection of their favorite songs for the season. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Released a Christmas Playlist So You Can Listen to All Their Favorite Songs," 23 Dec. 2018 One aspect of that darkness is that compiling a blacklist has itself become risky. The Economist, "Some science journals that claim to peer review papers do not do so," 21 June 2018 Whoop, launched in 2015 from Harvard’s Innovation Lab, claims that the Strap 2.0 compiles more, and more useful, fitness data than any other tracker on the market. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Whoop Offers Subscription to Its Fitness Watch," 16 May 2018 Data compiled by Tribune shows that since September 2011 at least 174 people under the age of 17 have been killed while 1,665 kids have been shot. Carolyn Salazar, Fox News, "Chicago teen who was anti-violence activist gunned down while playing basketball," 7 Sep. 2018 Avastin, another cancer drug, went up 2.5% to $3,187.76 for a 16-milliliter vial, according to price data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence and First Databank. Robert Langreth,, "Drugmakers cancel some price increases after California law takes effect," 10 July 2018 As a result of this direct and indirect pressure, new data compiled by the institute show that Mexico has been apprehending a greater share of Central American migrants at its southern border who otherwise might have made it to the United States. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Under new president, Mexico's cooperation on immigration and security could be at risk," 8 July 2018 Large-cap funds beating benchmarks this year slipped to 47 percent in June from 52 percent the previous month, data compiled by Bank of America showed. Sarah Ponczek And Elena Popina,, "A good week for the S&P 500 held more bad news for active funds," 6 July 2018 Peak Pegasus is expected to arrive in Dalian on Friday, the same day that China is scheduled to impose tariffs on imports from the U.S., according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg and a person familiar with the matter. Bloomberg, Time, "This American Cargo Ship Is Racing to China to Beat a Huge New Tariff on the Soybeans it's Carrying," 5 July 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

15 May 2019

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 How to pronounce compile (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on compile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compile

Spanish Central: Translation of compile

Nglish: Translation of compile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compile for Arabic Speakers

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!