Synonym Chooser

How is the word compress different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of compress are condense, constrict, contract, deflate, and shrink. While all these words mean "to decrease in bulk or volume," compress implies a pressing into a small compass and definite shape usually against resistance.

compressed cotton into bales

When might condense be a better fit than compress?

While the synonyms condense and compress are close in meaning, condense implies a reducing of something homogeneous to greater compactness without significant loss of content.

condense the essay into a paragraph

When is it sensible to use constrict instead of compress?

The words constrict and compress can be used in similar contexts, but constrict implies a tightening that reduces diameter.

the throat is constricted by a tight collar

When could contract be used to replace compress?

While in some cases nearly identical to compress, contract applies to a drawing together of surfaces or particles or a reduction of area or length.

caused her muscles to contract

In what contexts can deflate take the place of compress?

Although the words deflate and compress have much in common, deflate implies a contracting by reducing the internal pressure of contained air or gas.

deflate the balloon

When would shrink be a good substitute for compress?

In some situations, the words shrink and compress are roughly equivalent. However, shrink implies a contracting or a loss of material and stresses a falling short of original dimensions.

the sweater will shrink when washed

Thesaurus Entries Near compress

Cite this Entry

“Compress.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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