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 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 Medical staff found the child had a brain compression, brain hemorrhage and a depressed fracture to the back of his head. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Florida man threw baby causing possible permanent brain damage: report," 30 Apr. 2021 But the compression of so many games into so few days makes this an enormous mistake. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls NBA playoffs play-in tournament 'enormous mistake'," 14 Apr. 2021 And if all else fails, the narrator explains, the elevator car itself will slow due to compression of air beneath it as well as a couple of extreme failsafe shock absorbers at the very bottom of the shaft. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Tower of Terror Doesn't Kill You," 29 June 2020 That’s cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement, subdual restraint and neck compression. Will Wright, New York Times, "Takeaways from Day 10 of the Derek Chauvin trial.," 9 Apr. 2021 The collection includes necessities for future travel, including a face mask, compression socks, a foldable travel pillow and carrying case, a padded eye mask, and travel blanket. Travel + Leisure, "Away’s Latest Collection Includes Travel Accessories Perfect for a Future Trip," 9 Apr. 2021 Away’s compression socks are designed with anti-odor technology and dry quickly, so they can be worn multiple times. Zoe Malin, NBC News, "Away travel accessories collection: Everything you need to know," 8 Apr. 2021 Away's new collection in its entirety includes face masks, face mask filters, sleep masks, a travel blanket, compression socks, and neck pillows. Alexandra Polk,, "Away Launched A Smart New Line Of Travel Accessories," 8 Apr. 2021 With black, navy, and olive colorways to match your favorite travel-day outfit, these comfortable compression socks keep you feeling supported and comfortable during a long day of travel. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Away just launched new accessories to help you stay well while you travel," 8 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for compression

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for compression

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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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