Definition of compress in English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /kəmˈprɛs/
  • 1Flatten by pressure; squeeze or press.

    ‘the skirt can be folded and compressed into a relatively small bag’
    ‘compressed gas’
    • ‘What happened in a way was that half a century of change was compressed into two decades.’
    • ‘Measurements may be inaccurate because of pseudohypertension, in which the blood pressure cuff fails to compress a calcified artery.’
    • ‘It made for an entertaining five weeks - and I've clearly learned a lot - but could easily have been compressed into a day school.’
    • ‘Some pieces are extraordinarily beautiful - not pretty like a Chopin nocturne, but luminous and transparent, as though a whole world of meaning is compressed into every note.’
    • ‘A gas applies much greater pressure when it is compressed into a relatively small space because there are many more particles moving around in a given area.’
    • ‘A gas can also be easily compressed when pressure is exerted on it.’
    • ‘For Asia, the demographic changes that occurred gradually over 100 years in the West have been compressed into a few decades.’
    • ‘This increased pressure compresses the arteries and veins, decreasing blood flow to the muscles.’
    • ‘Lifting the bolt handle to extract the fired case and compress the mainspring is very difficult.’
    • ‘The only difference is that, as a young earth creationist, Ham has to believe that all of that evolution was compressed into only a few thousand years at very most.’
    • ‘Rossini's four-act opera has been compressed into 90 minutes and features a cast of seven local actors with musical backgrounds.’
    • ‘Dobson units are a measure of how thick the ozone would be if it were compressed with a pressure of one atmosphere above it.’
    • ‘The world tour is compressed into stop-offs in Senegal, Morocco, Estonia and Latvia, where the boys end up not so much handing the money out as realising how hard it is to part with it.’
    • ‘This summer it was compressed into cakes which were also stored in the open.’
    • ‘These structures irritate the tendon by putting pressure on it and compressing it.’
    • ‘These volumes are compressed into a compact, relief-like mass, where space is of little consequence.’
    • ‘Carpal tunnel syndrome may result from the tunnel walls being compressed, putting pressure on the nerve.’
    • ‘Now, margins have been compressed by pricing pressures, and industry analysts and executives don't see prices firming anytime soon.’
    • ‘The flow lines are compressed, and the pressure beneath the foil is increased.’
    • ‘A construction programme that should have taken 35-40 weeks has had to be compressed into 22 weeks.’
    1. 1.1no object Be squeezed or pressed together or into a smaller space.
      ‘her face compressed into a frown’
      • ‘As air spaces compress with depth the volume of the dolphin decreases without an accompanying reduction in mass, and the animal becomes less buoyant.’
      • ‘The water orb envelops the ice as it compresses tightly and disappears.’
      • ‘The pressure associated with diving deep can cause air spaces like lungs to compress and maybe even collapse.’
      • ‘The air compressed rapidly as he passed through the door.’
      • ‘The fire began to come together molding and compressing into the shape of a human.’
    2. 1.2as adjective compressedBiology Having a narrow shape as if flattened, especially sideways.
      ‘most sea snakes have a compressed tail’
      • ‘We have used a molding technique to obtain images of compressed collagen fibrils from rat tail tendon.’
      • ‘Like all other species of the genus Micropterus, the smallmouth bass has a moderately compressed, elongate body.’
      • ‘Garibaldi have a deep, oval-shaped, and laterally compressed body covered with large scales.’
      • ‘Compared to other fishes, Astronotus ocellatus has a slender, laterally compressed body, and a blunt head with a large mouth and protruding jaw.’
      • ‘Pineconefish have round, compressed bodies that are pale to dark yellow in color.’
    3. 1.3 Squeeze or press (two things) together.
      ‘Viola compressed her lips together grimly’
      • ‘Ty's lips were compressed, his brows narrowed, his head so high she wondered that his neck didn't hurt.’
      • ‘She compressed her lips, and spoke with conviction.’
      • ‘His lips were compressed tightly together as the ship made a creaking turn.’
      • ‘She shivered slightly and compressed her lips in a straight line and she appeared to be listening intensely.’
      • ‘Adam compressed his lips and set his jaw stubbornly.’
      • ‘Infants, like adults, furrow their brows when angry, says Izard, but unlike adults they don't tend to compress their lips.’
      • ‘Occasionally, she would compress her lips in a determined line.’
      • ‘I compressed my shoulders into myself as I crossed my arms together in my pockets, trying to shield myself from the icy coldness.’
      • ‘This is because the approaching movement compresses the X's together, making them arrive more frequently and produce a higher pitch, while the departing movement stretches out the X's and produces a lower pitch.’
      • ‘Compressing her lips and her resolve, she swings the marker at the end of her arm, as hard as she can, willing centrifugal force to move any remaining fluid down to the application end.’
      purse, press together, squeeze together, pinch, crimp
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    4. 1.4 Express in a shorter form; abridge.
      ‘in this chapter we compress into summary form the main findings’
      • ‘They can be compressed into nine critical questions.’
      abridge, shorten, cut, condense, abbreviate, contract, telescope
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    5. 1.5 Reduce the dynamic range of (a sound signal).
      • ‘Atrac works by splitting the sound signal into separate frequency bands and compressing them separately.’
      • ‘The Hunter's Ear is designed to compress sounds above 85 decibels into a safe hearing range.’
      • ‘The dynamic range can be compressed correspondingly (raising the pianissimo level and reducing the fortissimo).’
      • ‘As the siren moves toward you, it is catching up to and compressing the sound waves it produces, thus the higher pitch.’
      • ‘Hearing such compressed sounds over and over during a long game session leads to ear fatigue and a diminished playing experience.’
      • ‘This compression of an already compressed voice signal degrades voice clarity.’
      • ‘In this instance it is the ability to compress the signal.’
      • ‘The latest MP3 technology compresses all superfluous parts of a sound signal to reduce the amount of memory needed to store digital information.’
      • ‘Loud sounds are compressed to within 70 decibels.’
    6. 1.6Computing Alter the form of (data) to reduce the amount of storage necessary.
      • ‘Without a second thought, you'd probably compress the file and send it off.’
      • ‘Often, large files are compressed to reduce downloading time.’
      • ‘Music compressed using MP3 or equivalent formats requires 1Mb per minute.’
      • ‘The files are automatically compressed so they're small enough to send via email.’
      • ‘When data is compressed automatically, all filing characteristics remain exactly the same.’


Pronunciation /ˈkɒmprɛs/
  • A pad of lint or other absorbent material pressed on to part of the body to relieve inflammation or stop bleeding.

    ‘a cold compress’
    • ‘Take them out of the microwave and apply these steamy compresses to your aching body.’
    • ‘He went to place the compress on her head again and she evaded him.’
    • ‘She pressed the cold compress to the spot where she hit her head.’
    • ‘Before I knew it, I had worked myself up into a frothing, barking frenzy and had to lay down and put a cold compress on my head.’
    • ‘She continued to place the cool compress on his forehead and dab at his reddened cheeks.’
    • ‘Relieve pain with cool, wet compresses until the corpsman arrives.’
    • ‘Pamela was there exchanging cool compresses on his forehead.’
    • ‘I am plagued with boils and have tried hot compresses to no avail.’
    • ‘Symptoms increased with warmth and were relieved partially with cold compresses.’
    • ‘Gently massage the affected joints in the morning after applying warm compresses to the area.’
    • ‘To relieve a tension headache, apply a cold compress to the back of your neck.’
    • ‘Many cold compresses, an elevated leg and all manner of other cures have been to no avail.’
    • ‘So now I've got a cold compress on it, fresh from the freezer.’
    • ‘Talk about the magical moments and apply a cold compress to the burns.’
    • ‘If stung by a fire ant, the first recommended step is to apply a cold compress to relieve the swelling and pain.’
    • ‘However, there are certain situations in which the ginger compress should not be used.’
    • ‘Follow with a warm sea salt compress to remove crusting and clean out any infection.’
    • ‘A ginger compress is safe for most people and in many situations.’
    • ‘I took some paracetamol, and did cold compresses, and was just generally in a very bad mood.’
    • ‘You can use hot compresses during your bath session.’
    bandage, covering, plaster, gauze, lint, compress, ligature, swathe, poultice, salve
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Late Middle English: from Old French compresser or late Latin compressare, frequentative of Latin comprimere, from com- ‘together’ + premere ‘to press’; or directly from compress- ‘pressed together’, from the verb comprimere.