Definition of compress in US English:

compress

verb

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

    ‘the skirt can be folded and compressed into a small bag’
    • ‘Measurements may be inaccurate because of pseudohypertension, in which the blood pressure cuff fails to compress a calcified artery.’
    • ‘These volumes are compressed into a compact, relief-like mass, where space is of little consequence.’
    • ‘Lifting the bolt handle to extract the fired case and compress the mainspring is very difficult.’
    • ‘This summer it was compressed into cakes which were also stored in the open.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The flow lines are compressed, and the pressure beneath the foil is increased.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A construction programme that should have taken 35-40 weeks has had to be compressed into 22 weeks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Carpal tunnel syndrome may result from the tunnel walls being compressed, putting pressure on the nerve.’
    • ‘Dobson units are a measure of how thick the ozone would be if it were compressed with a pressure of one atmosphere above it.’
    • ‘It made for an entertaining five weeks - and I've clearly learned a lot - but could easily have been compressed into a day school.’
    • ‘Now, margins have been compressed by pricing pressures, and industry analysts and executives don't see prices firming anytime soon.’
    • ‘What happened in a way was that half a century of change was compressed into two decades.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A gas can also be easily compressed when pressure is exerted on it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These structures irritate the tendon by putting pressure on it and compressing it.’
    1. 1.1no object Be squeezed or pressed together or into a smaller space.
      ‘the land is sinking as the soil compresses’
      • ‘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. 1.2 Squeeze or press (two things) together.
      ‘Violet compressed her lips together grimly’
      • ‘I compressed my shoulders into myself as I crossed my arms together in my pockets, trying to shield myself from the icy coldness.’
      • ‘Occasionally, she would compress her lips in a determined line.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She compressed her lips, and spoke with conviction.’
      • ‘Infants, like adults, furrow their brows when angry, says Izard, but unlike adults they don't tend to compress their lips.’
      • ‘Ty's lips were compressed, his brows narrowed, his head so high she wondered that his neck didn't hurt.’
      • ‘His lips were compressed tightly together as the ship made a creaking turn.’
      purse, press together, squeeze together, pinch, crimp
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 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
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Computing Alter the form of (data) to reduce the amount of storage necessary.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Without a second thought, you'd probably compress the file and send it off.’
      • ‘Music compressed using MP3 or equivalent formats requires 1Mb per minute.’
      • ‘Often, large files are compressed to reduce downloading time.’

noun

  • A pad of absorbent material pressed onto part of the body to relieve inflammation or stop bleeding.

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

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.

Pronunciation

compress

/kəmˈprɛs//kəmˈpres/