Main definitions of compact in English

: compact1compact2

compact1

adjective

  • 1Closely and neatly packed together; dense.

    ‘a compact cluster of houses’
    • ‘To protect the environment, all the villagers built their houses in a compact area.’
    • ‘When the weather is cold, they cluster into compact balls and shiver, warming the hive.’
    • ‘Its tiny, bell-shaped, cobalt-blue flowers, each with a very delicate white border, form a compact cluster.’
    • ‘The centroid linkage method was utilized because of the way it can maximize compact clusters composed of similar cases.’
    • ‘Below this mass, these dense, compact objects are supported against further gravitational collapse by fermion-degeneracy pressure.’
    • ‘Near the port area is compact Ladadika, a cluster of squares and streets which formerly comprised olive oil warehouses and markets.’
    • ‘We snuggled together around the fire we had built, all together in a compact ball around the small flames.’
    • ‘These cones normally migrate together in a compact mass.’
    • ‘It is true that the Paris region area is denser and more compact than are common world cities (such as London).’
    • ‘Furthermore, in cultivated soils, dense compact subsoils frequently underlie the loosened topsoil.’
    • ‘He said that pasta's dense, compact nature means that it is digested more slowly than other starches.’
    • ‘This theme is carried through to the interior with a lower seating position, aluminium trim elements, a higher centre console and a compact instrument cluster.’
    • ‘Then it's sent to a bale press, which compresses loose cotton into compact, dense bales.’
    • ‘In this heightened world, everything needs to be compact and tight.’
    • ‘Rugosa roses make up a dense, compact hedge at the end of the garden without distracting from the sea view.’
    • ‘Its texture ranges from dense porcelain-like to a compact granular material composed of minute crystals.’
    • ‘Because it is only 1 micro m wide, we can make a much denser, more compact, device.’
    • ‘The protein units appear to be packed in a compact hexagonal way and from the position and distribution of the spots it is possible to derive some structural parameters.’
    • ‘Therefore, the shell wall is not compact or dense and is, in fact, poorly defined.’
    • ‘The towns that were affected were mostly small communities of brick houses, a compact commercial area, a church or two, a school, and maybe a health clinic or a hospital.’
    dense, packed close, close-packed, tightly packed, pressed together
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    1. 1.1 Having all the necessary components or features neatly fitted into a small space.
      ‘this compact car has plenty of boot space’
      • ‘Samantha and Todd share a compact space that provides a chair and computer station for each of them at a gracefully curved, solid cherry desk.’
      • ‘Be assured, this latest XJ is compact enough to fit into a normal-size garage, and can easily cope with the tight spaces of multi-storey car parks.’
      • ‘Dark colors are dramatic but will make a compact space seem smaller.’
      • ‘Excellent marksmanship is one of the key skills required of the marshals, who work in very compact spaces often tens of thousands of feet in the air.’
      • ‘Previous models have combined loads of features and award-winning compact designs - albeit at a hefty cost.’
      • ‘These two-dimensional examples give us an idea of how to build the more difficult three-dimensional, topologically compact spaces.’
      • ‘A compact version of a space ship floated right outside the doorway.’
      • ‘The human brain keeps experience and memory and everything else that makes its owner who they are, in a nice compact space.’
      • ‘When it rained or snowed, the little carbine was compact enough to fit under your slicker and to tuck up under your arm.’
      • ‘Not for the extra features, or the compact size, but for the simple fact that they look killer on a computer screen.’
      • ‘It's also compact enough to tuck neatly into an entertainment center or tabletop without being too obtrusive.’
      • ‘The device would fit all sizes of pram or buggy, including three-wheelers, and was compact enough to fit into the overhead lockers on aeroplanes.’
      • ‘The compact machine has many features that can benefit packagers of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and small device parts.’
      • ‘The gear-driven design also makes the unit more compact than other similar components.’
      • ‘It had to be compact enough to fit in the tight shelf space reserved for impulse buys at the supermarket.’
      • ‘For travelling it is carried split in a padded carry case, which is compact enough to fit even a small overnight travel bag.’
      • ‘He found the parking garage and drove nonchalantly to the fourth floor, where he found a compact space between two larger vehicles.’
      • ‘There were around 80 teenagers in around their mid-to-late teens, all dancing on a wooden floor in a compact space.’
      • ‘In a compact space, a narrow painted wardrobe or corner table and chairs can serve as a unique area of interest within the space.’
      • ‘They provide the right set of features in a compact form for the right price.’
      small, little, petite, miniature, mini, small-scale, neat, economic of space, fun-size
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    2. 1.2 (of a person or animal) small, strong, and well proportioned.
      • ‘His counterpart was a short, compact man, obviously in the type of shape and trim that came from self-indulgent working out.’
      • ‘Stücke, a compact man with a friendly smile, says he averages 68 miles a day, lugging 80-plus pounds of gear.’
      • ‘Overall the sheltie is a compact dog with a moderately long head, the tiniest of ears and an expression of wisdom and kindness.’
      • ‘The compact cat made one short, inconceivably fast motion, and the overbearing ferret jerked backward then collapsed to the pavement in a limp heap.’
      • ‘He is sitting on a settee in his hotel suite in One Devonshire Gardens, a plump and compact figure in a black pinstripe shirt and black trousers.’
      • ‘The modern bouvier de Flandres is a powerful but compact dog.’
      • ‘Her husband, Willy, a compact man with a Marine crew cut and Popeye forearms, is her catcher.’
      • ‘Despite being a compact figure, he looks as if he could handle himself in a Klingon bar brawl.’
      • ‘He was very compact and was the shortest guy at 5 feet 6 inches.’
      • ‘He was compact, mostly black, and quite dapper.’
      • ‘He's compact and sturdy yet runs like a sprinter.’
      • ‘She was compact, but her tan and the way she was easily carrying a shopping basket loaded with herbs and stones suggested she was athletic, always a plus.’
      • ‘He is compact, powerful and has played extensively in short-yardage situations.’
      • ‘He's compact, with salt-and-pepper hair and mustache and an open-collar gray shirt.’
      • ‘A dapper, compact chap, the very British man has been in Thailand for many years as a financial advisor, but this was very different from his early career path.’
      • ‘Her green eyes take in every inch of the young man's frame, from his dark gold hair to his gray eyes to his muscular, compact figure.’
      • ‘We were standing outside the Monitor's office in the harsh afternoon sun and now Short, a compact woman with a ruddy complexion, took a drag on her cigarette.’
      • ‘He sees Strang, a compact man with deep-set eyes and a broad forehead, scratching his thick brown beard and leaning against a door jamb.’
      • ‘He was compact, stylish and just too good to be true.’
      • ‘His father Lou, an accountant, is a short, compact man with an intense, handsome face who suddenly and permanently leaves home.’
    3. 1.3 (of speech or writing) concise in expression.
      ‘a compact summary of the play’
      • ‘Soon, we have witnessed a compact summary of the scientist's obsessive quest to develop a genetically modified human being.’
      • ‘Now, let's turn to the split rumours, which he has provided a compact summary of.’
      • ‘His writing is compact, there is description and dialogue here, but nothing extraneous to the plot, or plots, of which there are many.’
      • ‘As a result, this complete yet compact book is crowded.’
      • ‘Overall this book is a wealth of information in a compact, easily understandable form.’
      • ‘Poetry is a dense and compact literary medium and its impact in rousing the soul needs no emphasis.’
      • ‘Chapter 2 has a this-happened, then that-happened quality that defies a simple and compact summary.’
      • ‘Those who wish to read an overview of cancer of the lung will find this concise and compact book very useful.’
      • ‘A compact summary of his ideas is difficult to pull off.’
      • ‘This is a compact, intelligent, plainly written and well organised account of the elements of the craft of writing fiction.’
      • ‘The utility of compact expression is short-lived.’
      concise, succinct, condensed, compendious, crisp, terse, brief, pithy, epigrammatic, aphoristic, elliptical
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  • 2compact ofarchaic Composed or made up of.

    ‘towns compact of wooden houses’
    • ‘Canada is a compact of some very different people who have all managed to remain united through their common loyalty to the Crown of Canada.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Exert force on (something) so that it becomes more dense; compress.

    ‘the rubbish was taken to the depot to be compacted’
    ‘compacted earth’
    • ‘By increasing the tire effective width, about twice the soil volume is compacted compared to single tires.’
    • ‘Several tons of paper, cardboard, untreated wood and plastic are compacted into more than 2,100 tons of pellets each year and burned alongside the coal.’
    • ‘Wallowing also lays the soil bare and compacts it.’
    • ‘Some areas, like the vegetable plot, have been well cultivated in the past and have a deep, well-textured soil, while other areas are more compacted with a clayey subsoil quite close to the surface.’
    • ‘Everyone passed paper back to Timmy, and he compacted it into the most lethal paper wad ever conceived.’
    • ‘Some evidence indicates that the traction exerted during cell locomotion can concomitantly compact the surrounding network.’
    • ‘When using the combat roll, your downward energy is compacted and the tight roll causes a slight flowing impact.’
    • ‘The problem is that walking on earth compacts it, causing a need for deep double digging in spring to get the air back in the soil.’
    • ‘We placed the stone at 10 inches thick, then compacted it to 8.5 inches, then cut it with the grader.’
    • ‘Leaves are then compacted under train wheels to form a thick, greasy layer on the top of the running rails.’
    • ‘Both materials are quite similar to each other and the main difference is that material IC was compacted in thicker layers.’
    • ‘When the mulch is compacted too tight, this air flow cannot take place, and as the mulch continues to decompose it becomes extremely hot as the organic matter ferments.’
    • ‘These act as a giant poultice, drawing toxins out from the skin, compressing and compacting the soft tissue.’
    • ‘I've been using Zip compression to compact files for storage and transmission for longer than that.’
    • ‘The long DNA chain is naturally compacted in a dense form in most biological systems.’
    • ‘It's the story of Hanta, an old man who has worked for decades compacting waste paper, books especially, in his press, selecting a couple to take home with him and read.’
    • ‘It's also good to use early in the spring instead of heavier equipment which compacts wet spring soil.’
    • ‘The more dense and compacted the snow is the easier it will be to perform slides.’
    • ‘I was forced to compact a six-shelf collection of boxes for my impending move and my collection would take up a lot less weight and room if this was implemented sooner.’
    • ‘Gasoline or diesel engines drive an eccentric weight at a high speed to develop compaction force and vibrations that compact granular soils.’
    compress, condense, pack down, press down, tamp, tamp down, cram down, ram down, flatten
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Become compressed by the exertion of force.
      ‘the snow hardened and compacted’
      • ‘His throat burned for oxygen and he felt his ribs compressing, compacting, and ready to break.’
      • ‘Mulches used to protect plants over winter should be loose material such as straw, hay, or pine boughs that will help insulate the plants without compacting under the weight of snow and ice.’
      • ‘Snow will often accumulate and can eventually compact to form glaciers and ice caps.’
      • ‘The buildings were so poor they had collapsed into dust and rubble which compacts down, making it very difficult for people to survive.’
      • ‘And if you work it or walk on it when it's wet, it compacts easily.’
      • ‘Some of the most dominating physical features I've ever encountered, a glacier is a vast mass of ice formed from the accumulation of snow that compacts faster than it melts and sublimates.’
      • ‘I think our center will compact to the density of a neutron star.’
      • ‘This sprawling site bears the marks of geological metamorphosis, when sediments have compacted into layers of shale and now preserve the delicate details of these organisms as fossils.’
      • ‘This process causes the snow to compact as it slowly diminishes creating a solid crust base and surface.’
      • ‘He had been on the second floor of a seven-storey building that compacted into a pile of rubble.’
      • ‘She called me over to see the approximately 12 inches of cigarette butts compacted in the bottom.’
      • ‘As a video junkie, I don't advocate that often, but let's face it: the combination of subtitles and high speed martial arts isn't something that compacts easily onto a TV screen.’
      • ‘By the fourth night the mattress had compacted and was hard as rock.’
      • ‘It is formed from snow falling in the interior of the Antarctic which compacts into ice.’
    2. 1.2archaic Form (something) by pressing its component parts firmly together.
      ‘the foundation of the walls, compacted of Granite and Lime’
      • ‘Carried to its extreme, this hypothesis suggests that at one time all the matter of the universe was compacted together.’
      • ‘If the anti-universe was compacted together, how can we be on the surface of anything?’
    3. 1.3 Express in fewer words; condense.
      ‘the ideas are compacted into two sentences’
      • ‘Great music for lazy drives and porch sunsets, like a summer evening compacted into handy CD form.’
      • ‘In the way that des Esseintes imagines literature as being compacted into a single chiseled phrase, Huysmans sees the mother as being condensed into the perfection of a prayer that invokes and replaces her.’
      • ‘Listening to this astonishing 6-track set is like listening to the entire history of music compacted into short sweet segments.’

noun

  • 1A small flat case containing face powder, a mirror, and a powder puff.

    • ‘To ensure the shades go together, purchase a compact with two coordinating shades.’
    • ‘After touching up her lip-gloss, Sally closed her compact.’
    • ‘Finally, I remembered my coat and the extra makeup I'd brought - including a powder compact.’
    • ‘In addition, colors look ‘truer’ in the compacts, without a real difference on the skin, which is common, she said.’
    • ‘The woman standing next to me applied makeup from a compact, oblivious to our impending doom.’
    • ‘Philippa pulls a cigarette from a silver compact and taps it against the cover.’
    • ‘Sandra answered, clipping her compact shut and turning to engross herself in the conversation with Isabelle.’
    • ‘At the bottom of nearly all my handbags and suitcases can be found a random array of black eyeliners, lip glosses and discarded powder compacts.’
    • ‘The compact is a olive green cosmetic-like container with an acrylic mirror to assist in self application.’
    • ‘You with the make-up bag on your lap, compact in one hand and sponge-brush in the other.’
    • ‘I almost regretted agreeing to let her help me get ready for the party when I saw the array of brushes, compacts, bottles, and tubes littering the top of her sink.’
    • ‘Veréd Cosmetiqué's bronzing powder is encased in a beautiful silver compact with a mirror and separate compartment for the brush applicator.’
    • ‘Looking once more in her compact's mirror, she got out of the limo and ran up to hug him.’
    • ‘Kaitlin takes out a compact from her black satin purse and starts applying some face powder.’
    • ‘Vintage bowling bags have been reinvented as women's accessories, from compacts to purses.’
    • ‘There were lipstick holders, compacts and mirrors discreetly designed to go inside.’
    • ‘The chic leather compact also has a mirror, lip brush and dual-ended eye brush.’
    • ‘Her stomach fell as the box went up while the girl pulled out a compact from her $700 flare jeans and started to check her perfect unblemished reflection.’
  • 2Something that is a small and conveniently shaped example of its kind, in particular a compact camera.

    ‘a wide selection of films is available for your 35 mm compact’
    • ‘They are available in eight-round capacity for full size guns and seven-round for compacts.’
    • ‘If you have a good printer or photo studio, you will hardly be able to tell them from work by a conventional compact.’
    • ‘Trumpf will display the VectorMark compact, a valuable tool for various industrial and commercial marking tasks.’
    • ‘Used as a family snapshot camera it's on a par with early colour compacts, using cheap colour film and cheap laboratory processing.’
    • ‘The baby-size pocket guns, the compacts, the full size, and the long target models, all fit the same holster.’
    • ‘But you can't ignore them: sport compacts, rice rockets, whatever you want to call them, they're today's hot rodders.’
  • 3Metallurgy
    A mass of powdered metal compacted together in preparation for sintering.

    ‘strength is then introduced by infiltrating glass into the compact’
    • ‘Most titanium metal powders currently available in commercial quantities do not have sufficient purity to produce ductile metal compacts.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin compact- ‘closely put together, joined’, from the verb compingere, from com- ‘together’ + pangere ‘fasten’.

Pronunciation

compact

/kəmˈpakt/

Main definitions of compact in English

: compact1compact2

compact2

noun

  • A formal agreement or contract between two or more parties.

    ‘they signed a compact with the United States’
    ‘a peace compact’
    • ‘In fact, a ‘one license limit’ is a condition of participation among states that are parties to the compact.’
    • ‘But at the heart of this collection of treaties, compacts, laws and court decisions are two sets of documents.’
    • ‘All the Liberal Party candidates refused to sign the compact.’
    • ‘It was that very success that encouraged the community of nations to try its collective hand at drafting a similar compact to deal with global warming.’
    • ‘It's a compact between citizens and between generations.’
    • ‘An interstate compact is an agreement between two or more states that allows this practice model.’
    • ‘They are not concerned, and claim not to notice, the egregious breach of the compact between society and the media.’
    • ‘The compact under multiculturalism is that each community within a society must have the freedom to sustain its own identity, traditions and culture.’
    • ‘By Tuesday - the day for touring that hole in the ground - both compacts had settled for neatness rather than impact and left it to their big brothers to do the newsstand business.’
    • ‘The Constitution and federal law require that the state and tribes sign detailed compacts to spell out exactly how the casinos will be run.’
    • ‘It was rather a ‘federal’ approach, a compact between indigenous lords and their nominal superiors.’
    treaty, pact, accord, agreement, contract, alliance, bargain, deal, settlement, covenant, indenture, concordat, protocol, entente
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make or enter into (a formal agreement) with another party or parties.

    ‘the Democratic Party compacted an alliance with dissident groups’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin compactum, past participle of compacisci, from com- ‘with’ + pacisci ‘make a covenant’. Compare with pact.

Pronunciation

compact

/ˈkɒmpakt/