de·​com·​press | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce decompress (audio) \
decompressed; decompressing; decompresses

Definition of decompress

transitive verb

1 : to release from pressure or compression
2 : to convert (something, such as a compressed file or signal) to an expanded or original size

intransitive verb

: to undergo release from pressure especially : relax need a week off to decompress

Other Words from decompress

decompression \ ˌdē-​kəm-​ˈpre-​shən How to pronounce decompress (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for decompress



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Examples of decompress in a Sentence

Once pressure was released, the vertebrae decompressed. The file must be decompressed before it can be read.
Recent Examples on the Web Gabriella had been coming to this exact spot since the ’70s — once to decompress for a week in her 20s, countless times to push her mother in a wheelchair up and down the promenade and, again, a few weeks earlier for a final visit with Brandon. Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 Just a bike ride from the beach, the house is one of the few places where Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick, can decompress with their nearly three-year-old son, James Wilke. Stacie Stukin, ELLE Decor, 28 July 2022 During August people squeeze in their vacations and take some time off to relax, decompress and get mentally prepared for returning to reality. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 5 Sep. 2021 Leitess had spent the weeks since the verdict trying to decompress. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 Their purpose is to provide a calming and accessible area for those with autism and other sensory issues to decompress in a private setting. Heather Gann |, al, 3 July 2022 Barnes Marshall turns to music to decompress by spending an hour a day discovering new music or listening to some of her favorite jams. Brittney Oliver, Essence, 16 May 2022 Before launching a job search, allow yourself time to decompress, process what happened and grieve the loss. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 9 June 2022 As has been the case in recent years, Haslem requested time to decompress, in recent years his formal decision not coming until late in the summer or even the eve of the season. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 8 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of decompress

1905, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for decompress

Time Traveler

The first known use of decompress was in 1905

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Dictionary Entries Near decompress



decompression chamber

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Statistics for decompress

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decompress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for decompress


transitive verb
de·​com·​press | \ ˌdē-kəm-ˈpres How to pronounce decompress (audio) \

Medical Definition of decompress

: to release from pressure or compression


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