Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To press together.
  • transitive verb To make more compact by or as if by pressing.
  • transitive verb Computers To encode (data) to minimize the space required for storage or transmittal.
  • noun Medicine A soft pad of gauze or other material applied with pressure to a part of the body to control hemorrhage or to supply heat, cold, moisture, or medication to alleviate pain or reduce infection.
  • noun A machine for compressing material.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In surgery, a soft mass formed of tow, lint, or soft linen cloth, so contrived as by the aid of a bandage to make due pressure on any part.
  • noun In hydropathic practice, a wet cloth applied to the surface of a diseased part, and covered with a layer or bandage of dry cloth or oiled cloth.
  • noun An apparatus in which bales of cotton, etc., are pressed into the smallest possible compass for stowage.
  • To press or pack together; force or drive into a smaller compass or closer relation; condense.
  • To embrace sexually.
  • Synonyms To crowd, squeeze.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To press or squeeze together; to force into a narrower compass; to reduce the volume of by pressure; to compact; to condense.
  • transitive verb obsolete To embrace sexually.
  • transitive verb (Computers) to reduce the space required for storage (of binary data) by an algorithm which converts the data to a smaller number of bits while preserving the information content. The compressed data is usually decompressed to recover the initial data format before subsequent use.
  • noun (Surg.) A folded piece of cloth, pledget of lint, etc., used to cover the dressing of wounds, and so placed as, by the aid of a bandage, to make due pressure on any part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A machine for compressing
  • verb transitive To make smaller; to press or squeeze together, or to make something occupy a smaller space or volume.
  • verb intransitive To be pressed together or folded by compression into a more economic, easier format.
  • verb transitive To condense into a more economic, easier format.
  • verb transitive To abridge.
  • verb technology (transitive) To make digital information smaller by encoding it using fewer bits.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb make more compact by or as if by pressing
  • verb squeeze or press together
  • noun a cloth pad or dressing (with or without medication) applied firmly to some part of the body (to relieve discomfort or reduce fever)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English compressen, from Old French compresser, from Late Latin compressāre, frequentative of Latin comprimere : com-, com- + premere, to press; see per- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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'

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • For your herbal enlightenment, the cloth dipped into the strained-tea infusion is called a compress; with the steeped flowers, it becomes a poultice.

    Gentle Healing for Baby and Child

  • Instead, soak a compress in vinegar and press (don't rub) it against the sting.

    undefined

  • Because high-def signals are exceedingly more plump than standard TV signals and hog the capacity of their pipelines, cable - and satellite-TV operators "compress," or squeeze, them (broadcasters don't have to).

    Prick Up Your Rabbit Ears

  • I often notice wheelchair-users in photographs trying to "compress" themselves and look invisible--getting other people to stand in front of them, around them, etc.

    Updated: ADAPT action in Chicago

  • But it's really -- it takes a while to sit there and just kind of compress the air.

    CNN Transcript Jul 8, 2007

  • Because high-def signals are exceedingly more plump than standard TV signals and hog the capacity of their pipelines, cable - and satellite-TV operators "compress," or squeeze, them (broadcasters don't have to).

    Prick Up Your Rabbit Ears

  • For a stereo stream, not only do you not have to "compress" audio, but you can run well beyond 44.1/16-bit. plenty of 24-bit, 96k devices, for instance.

    Griffin iMic2. Can anyone see a problem? (Update)

  • Proulx once acknowledged that she tends to "compress" too much into short stories, but her wordplay is just as relentless in her novels; she seems unaware that all innovative language derives its impact from the contrast to straightforward English.

    A Reader's Manifesto

  • Proulx once acknowledged that she tends to "compress" too much into short stories, but her wordplay is just as relentless in her novels; she seems unaware that all innovative language derives its impact from the contrast to straightforward English.

    A Reader's Manifesto

  • a very cold wet compress, which is next completely covered by silk, gutta-percha, mackintosh, or many thicknesses of newspaper -- anything that will hold all the heat in -- as the cold compress is quickly heated up.

    The Mother and Her Child

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.