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

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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 LinkedIn has offered its staff time off to decompress and destress and sees other companies doing this as well. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Following Snyder’s dismissal, Doug Collins invited him to visit his home near Phoenix, just to decompress. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 May 2021 Productivity hacks, workweek organization tools and even ways to decompress have come up in the interview series, from daily journaling to the exact hour to make a big decision. WSJ, 20 May 2021 Doctors performed surgery in November and put metal clamps on his labrum to decompress the cysts. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2021 Following a long, difficult season, everyone got away for a few weeks -- a chance to decompress and allow emotions to settle. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 22 May 2021 Drews will take this month off to decompress before spending the second week of June in Anaheim working out with the United States national team. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2021 Denny, who has been riding motorcycles since the age of 19, said motorcycles are a way to decompress and relieve stress from the PTSD many Indigenous women endure. Nienke Onneweer, The Arizona Republic, 30 Apr. 2021 Recently Yoon and her business partner went to Big Bear with their families to decompress and enjoy the snow. Marissa Evans, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for decompress

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decompress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for decompress



English Language Learners Definition of decompress

: to release or reduce the physical pressure on something or to have the physical pressure released or reduced
computers : to change (a computer file that has been made smaller) back to its original size by using special software
US, informal : to rest and relax


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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