Main definitions of compact in English

: compact1compact2

compact1

adjective

  • 1Closely and neatly packed together; dense.

    ‘a compact cluster of houses’
    • ‘We snuggled together around the fire we had built, all together in a compact ball around the small flames.’
    • ‘Its texture ranges from dense porcelain-like to a compact granular material composed of minute crystals.’
    • ‘Therefore, the shell wall is not compact or dense and is, in fact, poorly defined.’
    • ‘Its tiny, bell-shaped, cobalt-blue flowers, each with a very delicate white border, form a compact cluster.’
    • ‘Rugosa roses make up a dense, compact hedge at the end of the garden without distracting from the sea view.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Furthermore, in cultivated soils, dense compact subsoils frequently underlie the loosened topsoil.’
    • ‘Then it's sent to a bale press, which compresses loose cotton into compact, dense bales.’
    • ‘When the weather is cold, they cluster into compact balls and shiver, warming the hive.’
    • ‘He said that pasta's dense, compact nature means that it is digested more slowly than other starches.’
    • ‘The centroid linkage method was utilized because of the way it can maximize compact clusters composed of similar cases.’
    • ‘Near the port area is compact Ladadika, a cluster of squares and streets which formerly comprised olive oil warehouses and markets.’
    • ‘Below this mass, these dense, compact objects are supported against further gravitational collapse by fermion-degeneracy pressure.’
    • ‘These cones normally migrate together in a compact mass.’
    • ‘In this heightened world, everything needs to be compact and tight.’
    • ‘It is true that the Paris region area is denser and more compact than are common world cities (such as London).’
    • ‘Because it is only 1 micro m wide, we can make a much denser, more compact, device.’
    • ‘To protect the environment, all the villagers built their houses in a compact area.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Having all the necessary components or features neatly fitted into a small space.
      ‘a compact car’
      • ‘It had to be compact enough to fit in the tight shelf space reserved for impulse buys at the supermarket.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For travelling it is carried split in a padded carry case, which is compact enough to fit even a small overnight travel bag.’
      • ‘The compact machine has many features that can benefit packagers of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and small device parts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The human brain keeps experience and memory and everything else that makes its owner who they are, in a nice compact space.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They provide the right set of features in a compact form for the right price.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A compact version of a space ship floated right outside the doorway.’
      • ‘The gear-driven design also makes the unit more compact than other similar components.’
      • ‘When it rained or snowed, the little carbine was compact enough to fit under your slicker and to tuck up under your arm.’
      • ‘Dark colors are dramatic but will make a compact space seem smaller.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These two-dimensional examples give us an idea of how to build the more difficult three-dimensional, topologically compact spaces.’
      • ‘He found the parking garage and drove nonchalantly to the fourth floor, where he found a compact space between two larger vehicles.’
    2. 1.2(of a person or animal) small, solid, and well-proportioned.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His father Lou, an accountant, is a short, compact man with an intense, handsome face who suddenly and permanently leaves home.’
      • ‘Stücke, a compact man with a friendly smile, says he averages 68 miles a day, lugging 80-plus pounds of gear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was compact, mostly black, and quite dapper.’
      • ‘Her husband, Willy, a compact man with a Marine crew cut and Popeye forearms, is her catcher.’
      • ‘He was compact, stylish and just too good to be true.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘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 very compact and was the shortest guy at 5 feet 6 inches.’
      • ‘His counterpart was a short, compact man, obviously in the type of shape and trim that came from self-indulgent working out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Despite being a compact figure, he looks as if he could handle himself in a Klingon bar brawl.’
      • ‘He's compact and sturdy yet runs like a sprinter.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3(of speech or writing) concise in expression.
      ‘a compact summary of the play’
      • ‘The utility of compact expression is short-lived.’
      • ‘Chapter 2 has a this-happened, then that-happened quality that defies a simple and compact summary.’
      • ‘Overall this book is a wealth of information in a compact, easily understandable form.’
      • ‘As a result, this complete yet compact book is crowded.’
      • ‘Poetry is a dense and compact literary medium and its impact in rousing the soul needs no emphasis.’
      • ‘Now, let's turn to the split rumours, which he has provided a compact summary of.’
      • ‘This is a compact, intelligent, plainly written and well organised account of the elements of the craft of writing fiction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His writing is compact, there is description and dialogue here, but nothing extraneous to the plot, or plots, of which there are many.’
      • ‘Soon, we have witnessed a compact summary of the scientist's obsessive quest to develop a genetically modified human being.’
  • 2archaic [predicative] 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]
  • 1 Exert force on (something) to make it more dense; compress.

    ‘the soil may be compacted by iron oxide’
    ‘compacted paper waste’
    • ‘Everyone passed paper back to Timmy, and he compacted it into the most lethal paper wad ever conceived.’
    • ‘Gasoline or diesel engines drive an eccentric weight at a high speed to develop compaction force and vibrations that compact granular soils.’
    • ‘I've been using Zip compression to compact files for storage and transmission for longer than that.’
    • ‘When using the combat roll, your downward energy is compacted and the tight roll causes a slight flowing impact.’
    • ‘These act as a giant poultice, drawing toxins out from the skin, compressing and compacting the soft tissue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By increasing the tire effective width, about twice the soil volume is compacted compared to single tires.’
    • ‘The more dense and compacted the snow is the easier it will be to perform slides.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's also good to use early in the spring instead of heavier equipment which compacts wet spring soil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We placed the stone at 10 inches thick, then compacted it to 8.5 inches, then cut it with the grader.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some evidence indicates that the traction exerted during cell locomotion can concomitantly compact the surrounding network.’
    • ‘The long DNA chain is naturally compacted in a dense form in most biological systems.’
    • ‘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.’
    compress, condense, pack down, press down, tamp, tamp down, cram down, ram down, flatten
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object](of a substance) become compressed.
      ‘the snow hardened and compacted’
      • ‘Snow will often accumulate and can eventually compact to form glaciers and ice caps.’
      • ‘And if you work it or walk on it when it's wet, it compacts easily.’
      • ‘It is formed from snow falling in the interior of the Antarctic which compacts into ice.’
      • ‘The buildings were so poor they had collapsed into dust and rubble which compacts down, making it very difficult for people to survive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the fourth night the mattress had compacted and was hard as rock.’
      • ‘He had been on the second floor of a seven-storey building that compacted into a pile of rubble.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His throat burned for oxygen and he felt his ribs compressing, compacting, and ready to break.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I think our center will compact to the density of a neutron star.’
      • ‘This process causes the snow to compact as it slowly diminishes creating a solid crust base and surface.’
      • ‘She called me over to see the approximately 12 inches of cigarette butts compacted in the bottom.’
    2. 1.2archaic Form (something) by pressing its component parts firmly together.
      • ‘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. 1.3Express in fewer words; condense.
      ‘the ideas are compacted into two sentences’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Great music for lazy drives and porch sunsets, like a summer evening compacted into handy CD form.’

noun

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

    • ‘The chic leather compact also has a mirror, lip brush and dual-ended eye brush.’
    • ‘Looking once more in her compact's mirror, she got out of the limo and ran up to hug him.’
    • ‘There were lipstick holders, compacts and mirrors discreetly designed to go inside.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Kaitlin takes out a compact from her black satin purse and starts applying some face powder.’
    • ‘Veréd Cosmetiqué's bronzing powder is encased in a beautiful silver compact with a mirror and separate compartment for the brush applicator.’
    • ‘To ensure the shades go together, purchase a compact with two coordinating shades.’
    • ‘Sandra answered, clipping her compact shut and turning to engross herself in the conversation with Isabelle.’
    • ‘Finally, I remembered my coat and the extra makeup I'd brought - including a powder compact.’
    • ‘Vintage bowling bags have been reinvented as women's accessories, from compacts to purses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The compact is a olive green cosmetic-like container with an acrylic mirror to assist in self application.’
    • ‘After touching up her lip-gloss, Sally closed her compact.’
    • ‘You with the make-up bag on your lap, compact in one hand and sponge-brush in the other.’
    • ‘Philippa pulls a cigarette from a silver compact and taps it against the cover.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘If you have a good printer or photo studio, you will hardly be able to tell them from work by a conventional compact.’
    • ‘They are available in eight-round capacity for full size guns and seven-round for compacts.’
    • ‘Trumpf will display the VectorMark compact, a valuable tool for various industrial and commercial marking tasks.’
    • ‘The baby-size pocket guns, the compacts, the full size, and the long target models, all fit the same holster.’
    • ‘Used as a family snapshot camera it's on a par with early colour compacts, using cheap colour film and cheap laboratory processing.’
    • ‘But you can't ignore them: sport compacts, rice rockets, whatever you want to call them, they're today's hot rodders.’
    1. 2.1
      short for compact car
  • 3Metallurgy
    A mass of powdered metal compacted together in preparation for sintering.

    • ‘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.

Main definitions of compact in English

: compact1compact2

compact2

noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But at the heart of this collection of treaties, compacts, laws and court decisions are two sets of documents.’
    • ‘An interstate compact is an agreement between two or more states that allows this practice model.’
    • ‘The compact under multiculturalism is that each community within a society must have the freedom to sustain its own identity, traditions and culture.’
    • ‘All the Liberal Party candidates refused to sign the compact.’
    • ‘They are not concerned, and claim not to notice, the egregious breach of the compact between society and the media.’
    • ‘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's a compact between citizens and between generations.’
    • ‘In fact, a ‘one license limit’ is a condition of participation among states that are parties to the compact.’
    • ‘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
    arrangement, understanding, pledge, promise, bond
    engagement
    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.