Definition of compress in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈpres/
[with object]
1Flatten by pressure; squeeze; press: the skirt can be folded and compressed into a small bag (as adjective compressed) compressed gas
More example sentences
  • A gas applies much greater pressure when it is compressed into a relatively small space because there are many more particles moving around in a given area.
  • A gas can also be easily compressed when pressure is exerted on it.
  • These volumes are compressed into a compact, relief-like mass, where space is of little consequence.
squeeze, press, squash, crush, cram, jam, stuff;
tamp, pack, compact;
informal scrunch, smoosh
1.1 [no object] Be squeezed or pressed together or into a smaller space: the land is sinking as the soil compresses
More example sentences
  • As air spaces compress with depth the volume of the dolphin decreases without an accompanying reduction in mass, and the animal becomes less buoyant.
  • The pressure associated with diving deep can cause air spaces like lungs to compress and maybe even collapse.
  • The fire began to come together molding and compressing into the shape of a human.
1.2Squeeze or press (two things) together: Violet compressed her lips together grimly
More example sentences
  • His lips were compressed tightly together as the ship made a creaking turn.
  • This is because the approaching movement compresses the X's together, making them arrive more frequently and produce a higher pitch, while the departing movement stretches out the X's and produces a lower pitch.
  • Compressing her lips and her resolve, she swings the marker at the end of her arm, as hard as she can, willing centrifugal force to move any remaining fluid down to the application end.
1.3Express in a shorter form; abridge: in this chapter we compress into summary form the main findings
More example sentences
  • They can be compressed into nine critical questions.
1.4 Computing Alter the form of (data) to reduce the amount of storage necessary.
Example sentences
  • Often, large files are compressed to reduce downloading time.
  • The files are automatically compressed so they're small enough to send via email.
  • Without a second thought, you'd probably compress the file and send it off.
1.5 (as adjective compressed) chiefly Biology Having a narrow shape as if flattened, especially sideways: most sea snakes have a compressed tail
More example sentences
  • We have used a molding technique to obtain images of compressed collagen fibrils from rat tail tendon.
  • Like all other species of the genus Micropterus, the smallmouth bass has a moderately compressed, elongate body.
  • Pineconefish have round, compressed bodies that are pale to dark yellow in color.


Pronunciation: /ˈkämˌpres/
A pad of absorbent material pressed onto part of the body to relieve inflammation or stop bleeding: a cold compress
More example sentences
  • Symptoms increased with warmth and were relieved partially with cold compresses.
  • If stung by a fire ant, the first recommended step is to apply a cold compress to relieve the swelling and pain.
  • She pressed the cold compress to the spot where she hit her head.



Pronunciation: /kəmˌpresəˈbilədē/
Example sentences
  • The important factor is the compressibility of the lining and insert that provides comfort for the users.
  • These qualities, and the bag's high compressibility, make the 45-degree-rated Light Year a sweet choice for through-hikers.
  • In addition, the data obtained from the change of excess pore water pressure following the arrest of intrusion are used in predicting soil compressibility and hydraulic conductivity.


Pronunciation: /kəmˈpresəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Both malleable and compressible, easy to cut and drip-free, it is heated by electromagnetic induction to bring its polymerization time to 90 minutes.
  • At the end of this pregnancy period, the egg is laid fairly painlessly, thanks to the spongy and slightly compressible shell.
  • The lightweight construction means the jacket is highly compressible - so it won't bloat your style when the weather clears.


Pronunciation: /kəmˈpresiv/
Example sentences
  • The downward flexion gait increases the compressive force at the knee joint.
  • This concrete plug is un-reinforced and incorporates a taper to ensure compressive stress over the entire rock/concrete contact area.
  • The anomalously high compressive pressure dynamically supports the high topography above in flexural isostatic equilibrium with the hot, low-density region below.


Late Middle English: from Old French compresser or late Latin compressare, frequentative of Latin comprimere, from com- 'together' + premere 'to press'; or directly from compress- 'pressed together', from the verb comprimere.

Words that rhyme with compress

acquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: com·press

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