Definition of decompress in English:



  • 1with object Relieve or reduce the pressure on (something)

    • ‘The liver is decompressed, and this promotes its healthy functioning.’
    • ‘With the help of the operative microscope, spinal surgeons can decompress the spine or remove a disc through incisions about an inch long.’
    • ‘Fluid was found in the carpal tunnel when it was decompressed.’
    • ‘In the patient with a crush injury, IV fluids should be started even before the trapped limb is freed and decompressed, and certainly no later than six hours after decompression.’
    • ‘These organs need to remain decompressed and drained to optimize early function.’
    • ‘The first stage of the procedure is axial skin incision in order to decompress the wound and allow post-traumatic swelling without constriction.’
    • ‘The stomach is decompressed with a nasogastric tube and intravenous fluids are given, with oral feeding being introduced as gastric dysmotility resolves.’
    1. 1.1 Expand (compressed data) to its normal size so that it can be read and processed by a computer.
      • ‘The process isn't necessarily symmetrical - it often takes longer to compress a digital music file than to decompress it for playback.’
      • ‘Dozen of software programs, including tools built into recent versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system, can read and decompress any file bearing the. zip extension.’
      • ‘Knowing how to compress and decompress an archived file is essential, especially in today's world of online computing.’
      • ‘You can of course decompress them and burn them to CD, and get the best sound quality that you're going to get.’
      • ‘Files are available on the Internet which are as little as 42KB in size but when fully decompressed have a total size of 16GB.’
    2. 1.2 Subject (a diver) to decompression.
      • ‘Then all four of the teams would decompress at approximately the same time.’
      • ‘But beware that being deeper may not decompress you adequately.’
      • ‘Doria divers have been swept off the anchorline used to reach the wreck or misjudged their breathing gas supply and run out or failed to properly decompress on the ascent.’
      • ‘The time wasted by compression and decompression, and the associated dangers, are thus minimized, since the diver may only have to be compressed and decompressed once during the spell at pressure.’
      • ‘He encountered buoyancy problems during his ascent, so he headed directly to the surface without decompressing.’
  • 2North American informal no object Calm down and relax.

    ‘Michael sits for a minute to decompress before walking home’
    • ‘‘It gives people a place to go to decompress,’ the owner recently told me.’
    • ‘In a reality of pain and hypervigilance, cops decompress by leaning on one another and/or taunting the living hell out of each other.’
    • ‘‘Just to start the day and get your blood flowing or decompress before bedtime,’ she says.’
    • ‘It took me some months after defending my dissertation before I could decompress, but I did.’
    • ‘Relief washed over her, but she needed a couple minutes to decompress.’
    • ‘It will help you decompress and establish boundaries between work and play.’
    • ‘Nancy Monson is a freelance writer in Fairfield, Conn., who decompresses from holiday get-togethers by sneaking off to the movies.’
    • ‘‘You have to decompress before feeling turned on,’ says Goldman.’
    • ‘We were decompressing from a full day of bar study and torture.’
    • ‘The question, which has been eating at Matthews for several years, is gnawing on him a couple of hours later as he decompresses at a party at Spago in Beverly Hills.’
    • ‘‘After sitting in an office for eight hours a day, working out was the perfect way to decompress and relax,’ she says.’
    • ‘I have been walking all day and night, and am now decompressing before the flight home in the morning.’
    • ‘Now he's decompressing and has no plans to leap into anything new just yet.’
    • ‘R. stretched out on the couch while G. and I unloaded the van but she could hardly wait to get into one of the rocking chairs on the front porch where we ate lunch and began the process of decompressing from our long journey.’
    • ‘5 p.m. Start to decompress and make plans for tomorrow, so stress is reduced.’
    • ‘Changes aside, Stress Recess is the answer when you need to decompress.’
    • ‘In the clubhouse afterward, decompressing at his locker with his elbows on his knees, Hensley couldn't stop shaking his head.’
    • ‘It allows soldiers to stay focused while fighting in a dangerous environment, and when they return to the FOB, they can relax and decompress after a day on the streets.’
    • ‘I'm heading where I can't be found for a while… time to decompress.’
    • ‘The bark of seals drowns out the din of the city you left behind, and at night the canal's placid silence is just what you need to decompress.’