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

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Other Words from compression

compressional \ kəm-​ˈpresh-​nəl How to pronounce compressional (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

The semiactive system continuously adjusts compression and rebound of the 48-mm Sachs fork and Sachs rear monoshock, according to the suspension mode. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Ducati Multistrada 1260 S: The Bike for a Bucket-List Ride," 21 Nov. 2018 Keep performing cycles of chest compressions and breathing until the person exhibits signs of life, such as breathing. Cliff Kapono,, "Basic CPR and First aid procedures," 8 July 2018 Modern life has rarely been articulated with such compression and epigrammatic precision. Dustin Illingworth,, "Elusive leaps of grace and daring: Rachel Cusk's 'Kudos'," 31 May 2018 Included in the update is a file manager, a disk imager, a file compression and decompression algorithm, and a number of other programs that would be helpful for someone trying to use an Apple II with modern USB drives and internet servers. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Download the New Update for Your 39-Year-Old Apple II," 16 Sep. 2016 Network sparsification has applications in data compression and efficient computation, but Spielman’s particular problem suggested something different to Kalai. Quanta Magazine, "‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem," 24 Nov. 2015 Additionally, the exhaust ports have been optimized and the compression ratio modified. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster Costs Almost $27,000 More than the Coupe," 30 May 2019 The tennis pro chose to wear a Nike catsuit for her match against Czechia’s Kristyna Pliskova, a compression garment that helped fight off the blood clots Williams was experiencing at the time, having recently given birth to her daughter, Alexis. Vogue, "Serena Williams’s Custom Off-White Outfit at the French Open Sent a Message," 27 May 2019 Magnetic-buckle compression straps keep things tight. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Commuter Backpacks for the Daily Grind," 2 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of compression

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

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Statistics for compression

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for compression

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

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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

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Comments on compression

What made you want to look up compression? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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