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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.
    • D. Webster
      events of centuries [] compressed within the compass of a single life
    • Melmoth
      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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