• enPR: kəmprĕs', IPA: /kəmˈpɹɛs/

compress (compresses, present participle compressing; past and past participle compressed)

  1. (transitive) To make smaller; to press or squeeze together, or to make something occupy a smaller space or volume.
    The force required to compress a spring varies linearly with the displacement.
    • events of centuries […] compressed within the compass of a single life
    • The same strength of expression, though more compressed, runs through his historical harangues.
  2. (intransitive) To be pressed together or folded by compression into a more economic, easier format.
    Our new model compresses easily, ideal for storage and travel
  3. (transitive) To condense into a more economic, easier format.
    This chart compresses the entire audit report into a few lines on a single diagram.
  4. (transitive) To abridge.
    If you try to compress the entire book into a three-sentence summary, you will lose a lot of information.
  5. (technology, transitive) To make digital information smaller by encoding it using fewer bits.
  6. (obsolete) To embrace sexually.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈkɒmpɹɛs/
  • (America) enPR: kŏm'prĕs, IPA: /ˈkɑmpɹɛs/

compress (plural compresses)

  1. A multiply folded piece of cloth, a pouch of ice etc., used to apply to a patient's skin, cover the dressing of wounds, and placed with the aid of a bandage to apply pressure on an injury.
    He held a cold compress over the sprain.
  2. A machine for compressing
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