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See also: kompres


Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Old French compresser, from Late Latin compressare (to press hard/together), from Latin compressus, the past participle of comprimō (to compress), itself from com- (together) + premō (press).


  • enPR: kəmprĕs', IPA(key): /kəmˈpɹɛs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs


compress (third-person singular simple present compresses, present participle compressing, simple past and past participle compressed)

  1. (transitive) To make smaller; to press or squeeze together, or to make something occupy a smaller space or volume.
    The force required to compress a spring varies linearly with the displacement.
    • (Can we date this quote by D. Webster and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      events of centuries [] compressed within the compass of a single life
    • (Can we date this quote by Melmoth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The same strength of expression, though more compressed, runs through his historical harangues.
  2. (intransitive) To be pressed together or folded by compression into a more economic, easier format.
    Our new model compresses easily, ideal for storage and travel
  3. (transitive) To condense into a more economic, easier format.
    This chart compresses the entire audit report into a few lines on a single diagram.
  4. (transitive) To abridge.
    If you try to compress the entire book into a three-sentence summary, you will lose a lot of information.
  5. (technology, transitive) To make digital information smaller by encoding it using fewer bits.
  6. (obsolete) To embrace sexually.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)
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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle French compresse, from compresser 'to compress', from Late Latin compressare 'to press hard/together', from compressus, the past participle of comprimere 'to compress', itself from com- 'together' + premere 'to press'



compress (plural compresses)

  1. A multiply folded piece of cloth, a pouch of ice etc., used to apply to a patient's skin, cover the dressing of wounds, and placed with the aid of a bandage to apply pressure on an injury.
    He held a cold compress over the sprain.
  2. A machine for compressing
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