Definition of decompression in US English:



  • 1Reduction in air pressure.

    ‘decompression of the aircraft cabin’
    • ‘As part of the unique package, he would receive training in freefall parachuting, high-altitude decompression, basic radio procedures and reusable launch vehicle systems operation.’
    • ‘This seems like the suggestion of a second-rate Hollywood director, for the single reason that you cannot discharge a firearm in a pressurised environment, because there would be catastrophic decompression.’
    • ‘The plane descended but the reason for decompression could not be found, so the aircraft returned to Oxford.’
    • ‘Not only did he survive the vacuum exposure (which should have frozen him almost immediately), but also his space pod did not move at all during the violent decompression.’
    • ‘The flight attendant announces that in the event of sudden decompression, a mask will fall from an overhead compartment.’
    • ‘Full training will be given to the prizewinner prior to flight take-off, which will include centrifugal training, skydive training and high altitude decompression.’
    • ‘Liz Verdier, a spokesperson for Boeing, said the 737s, like all Boeing planes, were equipped with warning systems that alerted pilots when decompression was occurring.’
    • ‘An aviation expert added that even a small explosion on board could have been enough to cause decompression and suck people out of the aircraft.’
    • ‘During the second week of their holiday a Helios plane, flying out of Cyprus, crashed due to what was reported to be because of a lack of oxygen in the cabin due to decompression.’
    • ‘Investigators are testing whether some other substance may have knocked out the crew and the passengers of the jet and are still examining whether cabin decompression was the fatal catalyst.’
    • ‘The risk, of course, is that a bullet could pierce the shell of an airplane and decompression could happen.’
    • ‘Initially, officials speculated the victims may have been killed by sudden decompression, toxic fumes or gases.’
    • ‘Three factors affect the rate of decompression: The volume of the cabin, the size of the opening, and the difference in pressure between the inside and outside of the plane.’
    • ‘The decompression pulled nine passengers out of plane, and they were lost at sea.’
    • ‘What else happens when a cabin undergoes explosive decompression?’
    1. 1.1 A gradual reduction of air pressure on a person who has been experiencing high pressure while diving, in order to prevent decompression sickness.
      ‘itching and rashes often occur following decompression’
      as modifier ‘the swim took some two hours, including a one hour decompression stop’
      • ‘We discourage dives below 30 meters, especially if decompression stops are required.’
      • ‘This reef gets shallower all the time, so we were able to enjoy around 30 minutes on it before decompression became an issue.’
      • ‘Deeper and longer diving means more decompression, whichever gas you're breathing.’
      • ‘To try to avoid getting the bends, extreme divers spend hours on ascent, sitting at targeted depths for carefully calculated periods of decompression to allow the gases to flush safely from their bodies.’
      • ‘Before they return to the surface they will need to undergo a 17-hour decompression in the Aquarius, with atmospheric pressure gradually reduced to that on the surface.’
  • 2The process of expanding computer data to its normal size so that it can be read by a computer.

    ‘this disk contains a number of utilities which require decompression’
    • ‘The server is able to perform remote file compression and decompression by a request from the client.’
    • ‘As well as the Windows help bug ‘fix’, there's also a patch for flaws in handling file decompression.’
    • ‘I projected how long compression and decompression should take on computers of various speeds by simply scaling actual test results from my 1.7GHz CPU.’
    • ‘Mapping the data prior to decompression reduces the random access memory resources otherwise required.’
    • ‘The inverse process - decompression - doesn't put any serious load on the memory subsystem.’
    1. 2.1 A surgical procedure that relieves excessive pressure on an internal part of the body such as the cranium or spinal cord.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, infants with symptoms and signs of increased intracranial pressure require urgent decompression.’
      • ‘Depending on what is causing the pain, this may involve removing a disc, decompression to remove the tissue squashing the nerve, or stabilisation, which involves fusing two or more adjacent vertebrae to give the spine more stability.’
      • ‘Surgical decompression remains the mainstay of treatment for spinal epidural abscess.’
      • ‘We report good results from surgical decompression performed in a patient with acute lumbar paraspinal muscle compartment syndrome.’