com·​pres·​sion | \ kəm-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce compression (audio) \

Definition of compression

1a : the act, process, or result of compressing
b : the state of being compressed
2 : the process of compressing the fuel mixture in a cylinder of an internal combustion engine (as in an automobile)
3 : the compressed remains of a fossil plant
4 : conversion (as of data, a data file, or a communications signal) in order to reduce the space occupied or bandwidth required

Other Words from compression

compressional \ kəm-​ˈpresh-​nəl How to pronounce compression (audio) , -​ˈpre-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of compression in a Sentence

the compression of a long, complicated story into a two-hour movie is never easy
Recent Examples on the Web All ten of those who died after the festival suffered from compression asphyxia. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2022 Heavier frames need a firmer bed for support, as there won’t be too much compression, leading to spine misalignment. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 28 Apr. 2022 Available in sizes 6 to 24, this swimsuit has a contemporary cut, front panel compression, UPF 50+ UV protection and light chest support. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Apr. 2022 There are rolling, compression, vibrating, and shiatsu massage modes, which work to soothe aches along the bottom and sides of your feet, along with five adjustable air pressure settings to help stimulate blood flow. Lindsey Greenfeld,, 15 Apr. 2022 There’s the medical equipment sales rep who offers a $50 gift card to any nurse who can save a patient using a new chest-compression device. Christopher Borrelli,, 4 Feb. 2022 How much cleavage, compression, flexure, impact, tension, or shear is required to break the plane of a Titebond bond? Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 5 Jan. 2022 Algorithmic optimization will be needed for model compression, low precision computing and platform-aware design optimization. Tom Coughlin, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 For its football players, the school uses air-compression sensors to check the foam lining of helmets before each game to make sure the gear fits properly. Eric Killelea, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of compression

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for compression

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The first known use of compression was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near compression



compressional wave

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Statistics for compression

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for compression


com·​pres·​sion | \ kəm-ˈpre-shən How to pronounce compression (audio) \

Kids Definition of compression

: the act, process, or result of pressing something together


com·​pres·​sion | \ kəm-ˈpresh-ən How to pronounce compression (audio) \

Medical Definition of compression

: the act, process, or result of compressing especially when involving a compressing force on a bodily part compression of an artery by forceps compression of the brain by the bones of a depressed fracture

More from Merriam-Webster on compression

Nglish: Translation of compression for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compression for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about compression


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