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 For some individuals in quarantine, time stretches but also compresses. Jackie Rocheleau, Scientific American, "A Monday Is a Tuesday Is a Sunday as COVID-19 Disrupts Internal Clocks," 27 May 2020 In those two bear markets, valuations typically compressed 30% to 50%, falling to 2.4x sales or 7.5x Ebitda. Kristine Owram, Bloomberg.com, "Cash Dwindles, ‘Extinction-Level Event’ Looms: Cannabis Weekly," 14 Apr. 2020 In periods with no fresh snow, or light snowfalls, the snow base will compress and the surface will freeze into an ice layer. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Get a fresh New Year start at snowy mountain lookout," 3 Jan. 2020 Lifetime then compressed a process that typically takes 18 months into just seven. BostonGlobe.com, "Those riveted by the college-admissions scandal will get a double dose Saturday, when the Lifetime cable network airs a two-hour movie and hourlong investigative piece on the topic.," 10 Oct. 2019 To change colors, the lizards can compress or flex their crystal-containing cells, causing different wavelengths of light to be reflected—and meanwhile, the normal skin cells can expand or shrink to fill in any gaps. National Geographic, "New 'smart' skin changes color using a trick learned from chameleons," 11 Sep. 2019 This swelling compresses the lumen (the hollow part in the center of your artery through which blood travels) until adequate levels of blood can no longer stream through. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "Meet SCAD, a Major Cause of Heart Attacks in Women 50 and Under," 22 Aug. 2019 While a 1080p webcam may seems like a desirable upgrade, remember that the higher resolution creates a larger data file—which may end up getting compressed by applications such as Zoom anyway. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Dell XPS 13 9300 review: The bezel is finally dead," 27 Apr. 2020 The delay, announced Saturday, will further compress the timetable to count all Americans. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "Census Bureau Delays Field Work on 2020 Census Again Over Coronavirus," 29 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the air springs on the outside of the SUV compress in a corner, E-ABC provides more pressure to each damper's lower chamber, lifting the body. Jason Fenske, Car and Driver, "How Mercedes Helps Your SUV Handle like a Car," 23 May 2020 The kit includes antiseptic towelettes, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment packets, a cold compress, 50 adhesive bandages, a tape roll, butterfly closures, finger splints, gauze pads and gloves. oregonlive, "100-piece first aid kit for under $10 to stay prepared at home during coronavirus isolation," 20 Apr. 2020 Massaging your breast and applying warm compresses while nursing or pumping may also help the duct clear and ease discomfort. Amy Kiefer, New York Times, "How to Feed a Combination of Breast Milk and Formula," 16 Apr. 2020 Her mother put compresses of cold water and vinegar on her forehead to cool the fever and soothe the headaches. oregonlive, "Oregonians with coronavirus: ‘I was healthy and exercised ... And I got sick’," 8 Apr. 2020 So other passengers began handing her their clothes to make cold compresses, some of them stripping down to their bras and underpants. Nick Perry, Twin Cities, "Rescuer describes horror of New Zealand’s silent eruption; 16 believed killed," 14 Dec. 2019 Once the acid is off your face, your dermatologist will likely apply a cool compress to soothe your skin. Farwa Shah, SELF, "10 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Glycolic Acid Peel," 3 Dec. 2019 For milder cases, cool compresses, gentle and soothing skin protectants like aloe vera, and pain relievers can help reduce the discomfort of a sunburn, Dr. Tiernan says. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "8 Reasons Why Your Skin Is Peeling—and How to Deal," 11 Feb. 2020 So other passengers began handing her their clothes to make cold compresses, some of them stripping down to their bras and underpants. Nick Perry, Twin Cities, "Rescuer describes horror of New Zealand’s silent eruption; 16 believed killed," 14 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler for compress

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for compress

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compress. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for compress

compress

verb
How to pronounce compress (audio)

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
How to pronounce compress (audio)

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)
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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Comments on compress

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