compress

1 of 2

verb

com·​press kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
compressed; compressing; compresses

transitive verb

1
: to press or squeeze together
2
: to reduce in size, quantity, or volume as if by squeezing
compress a computer file

compress

2 of 2

noun

com·​press ˈkäm-ˌpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
1
: a folded cloth or pad applied so as to press upon a body part
2
: a machine for compressing
Choose the Right Synonym for compress

contract, shrink, condense, compress, constrict, deflate mean to decrease in bulk or volume.

contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

Examples of compress in a Sentence

Verb compress the air in a closed chamber Her lips compressed into a frown. a material that compresses easily This type of file compresses easily.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The encoder compresses input data into a lower-dimensional space, known as the latent (or embedding) space, that preserves the most essential aspects of the data. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Feb. 2024 The company started with first-of-their-kind frozen vegan sushi, poke bowls, and onigiri (Japanese compressed rice balls), all of which are easily available in the freezer aisle. Simon Mainwaring, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, several of the most eventful years in our heroes’ lives are compressed into the two final episodes, which keep jumping ahead toward the final day. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 8 Feb. 2024 These forces stretch and compress the moon, generating heat that can spur its eruptions. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Feb. 2024 Complexity—rather than being compressed into Anderson’s mercurial symbolism—gets direct, divergent, and emotionally candid expression. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 The downtown finish on Biscayne Boulevard near Bayfront Park doesn’t provide as much space to spread out as organizers would like, so many of the post-race activities are compressed. Susan Miller Degnan, Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 The emissions would be collected from several industrial sources nearby, compressed into a liquid-like state and injected into porous rock more than one mile underground. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2024 Get the best of both worlds with this collapsible water bottle that compresses super small when not in use. Taylor Gumm, Rolling Stone, 4 Jan. 2024
Noun
The pulp semi-fiction compresses three years of Blanco’s exploits into an anti-hero-esque arc and transforms Vergara into Blanco through the heavy use of plastic prostheses and glitzy wardrobes. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2024 Drought is a vicious circle for farmers: As rainfall decreases, the soil compresses. Jack Thompson, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Jan. 2024 That full range would curdle the analog-to-digital convertors built into most microcontroller boards, so the THAT compresses and shifts that range for the hybrid port. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Dec. 2023 To ease her pain, Vachon would have to leave work early, take an Advil and put a cold compress on her head before heading straight to bed. By Allison Horton, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Yet but Really Want To Place an ice pack or cold compress on your skin for up to 10 minutes to help ease that feeling, according to the AAD. Sarah Klein, SELF, 5 Jan. 2024 About 15 minutes of either is OK, but make sure not to apply warm or cold compresses directly on the skin. Kimberly Zapata, Parents, 18 Dec. 2023 Each of those pulleys is on a one-way bearing so that when torque is put on the cranks (to go faster or climb a hill), the springs compress, the pulleys fold in, and the whole front element becomes smaller. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 30 Nov. 2023 Signs of Fever in Babies and Children What To Avoid When Your Child Has a Fever Because of the bad rep, some people try to lower the fever with cold compresses or a cool bath, but that doesn't change the body's higher thermostat set point. Ada Fenick, Parents, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'compress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Late Latin compressare to press hard, frequentative of Latin comprimere to compress, from com- + premere to press — more at press

Noun

Middle French compresse, from compresser to compress, from Late Latin compressare

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of compress was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near compress

Cite this Entry

“Compress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compress. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

compress

1 of 2 verb
com·​press kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
1
: to press or become pressed together
2
: to reduce the size, amount, or volume of by or as if by pressure
compressibility
-ˌpres-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē
noun
compressible
-ˈpres-ə-bəl
adjective

compress

2 of 2 noun
com·​press ˈkäm-ˌpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
1
: a folded cloth or pad applied so as to press upon a body part
a cold compress
2
: a machine for compressing

Medical Definition

compress

1 of 2 transitive verb
com·​press kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
1
: to press or squeeze together
a ligament in the wrist was compressing a nerve
2
: to reduce in size or volume as if by squeezing
compress air

compress

2 of 2 noun
com·​press ˈkäm-ˌpres How to pronounce compress (audio)
1
: a covering consisting usually of a folded cloth that is applied and held firmly by the aid of a bandage over a wound dressing to prevent oozing
2
: a folded wet or dry cloth applied firmly to a part (as to allay inflammation)

More from Merriam-Webster on compress

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