Thesaurus

compress

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of compress

1 to reduce in size or volume by or as if by pressing parts or members together
  • a science textbook that compresses a lot of information about human reproduction into a few short chapters

Synonyms for compress

Words Related to compress

Near Antonyms for compress

Antonyms for compress

2 to become smaller in size or volume through the drawing together of particles of matter
  • the substance can compress under pressure

Synonyms for compress

Words Related to compress

Near Antonyms for compress

Antonyms for compress

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About compress

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About compress

Time Traveler for compress

Time Traveler

The first known use of compress was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Compress.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/compress. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on compress

Dictionary: Definition of compress

Medical Dictionary: Definition of compress

Nglish: Translation of compress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compress for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!