compress

verb
com·​press | \ kəm-ˈpres \
compressed; compressing; compresses

Definition of compress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

noun
com·​press | \ ˈkäm-ˌpres \

Definition of compress (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a folded cloth or pad applied so as to press upon a body part
2 : a machine for compressing

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Choose the Right Synonym for compress

Verb

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Because banks borrow money on the short end of the curve and lend out at prices at the longer end, the shrinking gap can compress bank profitability. Ken Sweet, The Seattle Times, "Bank of America 2Q profits boosted by tax law, higher rates," 16 July 2018 Out in the social ether, where lives are compressed into a photo and a paragraph, Father’s Day can seem like a contest. Mary Schmich, chicagotribune.com, "Is Father's Day outdated?," 15 June 2018 The plotting tends toward melodrama and, perhaps because so much history is compressed into a short time, the characterizations are rendered mostly in broad strokes, but director Snehal Desai and his performers effectively flesh things out. Daryl H. Miller, latimes.com, "George Takei & Co. pledge an 'Allegiance' to teaching WWII history," 1 Mar. 2018 That’s great for publishers, because those businesses are competing head-to-head with each other, and their margins have been compressed. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Netflix will get ads, predicts the Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green," 15 Nov. 2018 Essentially, heavy weight on the Earth’s poles, such as from massive glaciers during the last ice age, can actually cause the ground underneath them to be compressed. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Are Causing Earth to Wobble," 25 Sep. 2018 The reality is down will compress and eventually flatten. Cathy Hobbs, The Seattle Times, "How to pick the perfect sofa for your space," 18 Sep. 2018 The diameter is so small that the light is compressed and becomes very bright. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "661Tbps through a single optical fiber: The mind boggles," 1 Aug. 2018 The surgery will aim to fix whatever’s compressing your sciatic nerve and causing your unpleasant symptoms. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is the Number One Sign You Have Sciatica," 29 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In addition to benzoyl peroxide, Dr. Bhuyan suggests using Epsom salt and a warm compress to help heal the acne more quickly. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "What Is Vaginal Acne, and How Do You Treat It?," 3 Dec. 2018 Stewart said pain should go away within two or three days and recommends taking aspirin or ibuprofen and applying ice and a warm compress to alleviate pain and inflammation. Erica Sweeney, Teen Vogue, "Why Do Some Vaccines Hurt More Than Others?," 24 Oct. 2018 Add to a cold compress Dehydration sucks—and one of the first signs is a headache. Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "8 Best Essential Oils For Headaches And How To Use Them," 30 Oct. 2017 Immediately immerse the burn in cool tap water or apply cold, wet compresses. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Fourth of July: What to do if you get burned by a firework," 4 July 2018 Bag of frozen peas, or another cold compress will absorb the heat and reduce swelling. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Can shaving cream take sting out of sunburn? One mom says yes," 29 June 2018 Or use clean hands and apply a warm compress to help draw the pimple out. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "This 20-Minute Pimple Popping Video Will Give You Nightmares," 18 June 2018 What to do: Wash the bite with soap and water and use cool compresses to alleviate the numbness and tingling. Kelsey Mo, azcentral, "Top 5 calls to Poison Control and what the hotline advises you should do," 18 June 2018 If the sore is below the belt: Just like with cold sores, cool compresses are your friend. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, ""I Have a Cold Sore. Does That Mean I Have Herpes?"," 7 Oct. 2016

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

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First Known Use of compress

Verb

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

Noun

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compress

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

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Statistics for compress

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compress

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

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More Definitions for compress

compress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of compress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to press or squeeze (something) so that it is smaller or fills less space

: to make (something) shorter or smaller

computers : to reduce the size of (a computer file) by using special software

compress

noun

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

: a folded cloth that is pressed against a part of the body to reduce pain or stop bleeding from an injury

compress

verb
com·​press | \ kəm-ˈpres \
compressed; compressing

Kids Definition of compress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to press or squeeze together compressing his lips
2 : to reduce in size, quantity, or volume by or as if by pressure The pump is for compressing air.

compress

noun
com·​press | \ ˈkäm-ˌpres \

Kids Definition of compress (Entry 2 of 2)

: a pad (as of folded cloth) applied firmly to a part of the body (as to stop bleeding)

compress

transitive verb
com·​press | \ kəm-ˈpres \

Medical Definition of compress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

noun
com·​press | \ ˈkäm-ˌpres \

Medical Definition of compress (Entry 2 of 2)

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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on compress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compress

Spanish Central: Translation of compress

Nglish: Translation of compress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compress for Arabic Speakers

Comments on compress

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