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Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin compactum (agreement).


compact (plural compacts)

  1. An agreement or contract.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle French, from Latin compāctus, perfect passive participle of compingō (join together), from com- (together) + pangō (fasten), from Proto-Indo-European *pag- (to fasten).


compact (comparative more compact, superlative most compact)

  1. Closely packed, i.e. packing much in a small space.
    • Isaac Newton
      glass, crystal, gems, and other compact bodies
  2. Having all necessary features fitting neatly into a small space.
    a compact laptop computer
  3. (mathematics, not comparable, of a set in an Euclidean space) Closed and bounded.
    A set S of real numbers is called compact if every sequence in S has a subsequence that converges to an element again contained in S.
  4. (topology, not comparable, of a set) Such that every open cover of the given set has a finite subcover.
  5. Brief; close; pithy; not diffuse; not verbose.
    a compact discourse
  6. (obsolete) Joined or held together; leagued; confederated.
    • Shakespeare
      compact with her that's gone
    • Peacham
      a pipe of seven reeds, compact with wax together
  7. (obsolete) Composed or made; with of.
    • Milton
      A wandering fire, / Compact of unctuous vapour.
Derived terms[edit]


Vintage black enamel compact, c. 1960s

compact (plural compacts)

  1. A small, slim folding case, often featuring a mirror, powder and a powderpuff; that fits into a woman's purse or handbag, or that slips into ones pocket.
  2. A broadsheet newspaper published in the size of a tabloid but keeping its non-sensational style.
    • 2012, BBC News: Dundee Courier makes move to compact [1]:
      The Dundee Courier has announced the newspaper will be relaunching as a compact later this week. Editor Richard Neville said a "brighter, bolder" paper would appear from Saturday, shrunk from broadsheet to tabloid size.

See also[edit]


compact (third-person singular simple present compacts, present participle compacting, simple past and past participle compacted)

  1. (transitive) To make more dense; to compress.
    • 2014 August 24, Jeff Howell, “Home improvements: gravel paths and cutting heating bills [print version: Cold comfort in technology, 23 August 2014, p. P5]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Property)[2]:
      You need to excavate and remove the topsoil, line the subsoil with a geotextile, then lay and compact hardcore.
  2. To unite or connect firmly, as in a system.
    • Bible, Eph. iv. 16
      The whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth.





compact (comparative compacter, superlative compactst)

  1. compact (closely packed), dense
  2. compact (having all necessary features fitting neatly into a small space)


Inflection of compact
uninflected compact
inflected compacte
comparative compacter
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial compact compacter het compactst
het compactste
indefinite m./f. sing. compacte compactere compactste
n. sing. compact compacter compactste
plural compacte compactere compactste
definite compacte compactere compactste
partitive compacts compacters



compact (feminine singular compacte, masculine plural compacts, feminine plural compactes)

  1. compact (closely packed), dense
  2. compact (having all necessary features fitting neatly into a small space)


compact m (plural compacts)

  1. compact disc
  2. music center (US), music centre (UK)
  3. compact camera


Further reading[edit]