compress

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See also: kompres

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English compressen, 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).

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Verb[edit]

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.
    • June 17, 1825, Daniel Webster, Speech on the laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument
      events of centuries [] compressed within the compass of a single life
    • 1810, William Melmoth (translator), Letters of Pliny
      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.
    • 1727, Alexander Pope, Metamorphoses
      This Nymph compress'd by him who rules the day,
      Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey,
      Andræmon lov'd; and , bless'd in all those charms
      That pleas'd a God, succeeded to her arms
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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 compresse (to compress), from Late Latin compressare (to press hard/together), from Latin compressus, the past participle of comprimō (to compress), itself from com- (together) + premō (press).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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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