compress

verb
com·​press | \ kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce compress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce compress (audio) \

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

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes was a four-part series that dissected and compressed over 150 hours of interviews with Ted Bundy for Stephen Michaud's book, Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer. Alexis Jones, Marie Claire, "Elizabeth Kendall's Ted Bundy Memoir Is the Inspiration Behind the New Netflix Film," 3 May 2019 Essentially, there are three kinds of frames, which store compressed images: I-frames, P-frames, and B-frames. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The key to creating gorgeous, glitchy YouTube images: anticipation and deletion," 15 July 2018 Each was implanted with a spring about a centimeter long, compressed inside a gelatin capsule that gradually dissolved to let loose the spring’s outward force. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Lab-created ‘miniguts’ grow larger when you load them with springs," 4 June 2018 Since they're made of foam, they can be compressed and rolled up for shipping. Teen Vogue, "The 8 Best Mattresses to Buy for Your First Apartment," 23 Apr. 2019 Fast-forward the cosmic clock, compressing eons into seconds, and the stars of the night sky would wink out one by one, as the central, stabilizing inferno within each one sputters and dies. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "Book Review: Feeling Gravity’s Pull," 16 Nov. 2018 Cell phone elbow Cell phone elbow (or, in fancier terms, cubital tunnel syndrome), is when the ulnar nerve running from your neck to your hand and along your elbow gets compressed. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "The Right Way to Use Your Phone So You Don’t Wreck Your Body," 27 Sep. 2018 The natural tendency in this position will be to flail your arms and kick your heels to power your body back up, says Stokes, but the goal is to fight that and keep your body compressed as tightly around the ball as possible. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Ashley Graham Strengthens Her Core With This Surprisingly Challenging 'Rolling' Move," 22 Mar. 2019 Much of the fighting was done from trenches, compressing the battlefield as soldiers stood and fired through barbed wire and mist, as if mice in a maze, and waited for onslaughts. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "In 'Journey's End,' soldiers reminisce and wait to die in the muddy trenches of World War I," 15 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Try applying cool compresses, calamine lotion, or over-the-counter anti-itch creams with 1 percent hydrocortisone, the Mayo Clinic recommends. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's What It Means If You Got a Skin Reaction From Your Makeup," 1 Mar. 2019 Try soaking a washcloth in cold milk and using it as a compress for symptom relief and speedier healing. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Your Sunburn Itches — And How to Stop It," 19 Apr. 2019 Use an ice pack or compress: Wrap ice in a cloth before applying it directly to your skin, or soak a washcloth in cold water or milk and place that on the burn. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of a Sunburn ASAP," 17 May 2018 To help speed that process up, Dr. Hooper recommends using warm compresses, ice, and a spot treatment with anti-inflammatory cortisone cream. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: How Normal Are Your Skincare Habits?," 10 Sep. 2018 When a burn occurs, put a cold compress on the area ASAP. Emily Gaynor, Teen Vogue, "How to Treat a Curling Iron Burn," 9 Aug. 2018 Hold the cold compress on the burn for as long as possible, or at least until the burn is no longer hot to the touch. 2. Emily Gaynor, Teen Vogue, "How to Treat a Curling Iron Burn," 9 Aug. 2018 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

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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Learn More about compress

Statistics for compress

Last Updated

19 May 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 How to pronounce compress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce compress (audio) \

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 How to pronounce compress (audio) \

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 How to pronounce compress (audio) \

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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