1. pressed into less space; condensed: compressed gases.
  2. pressed together: compressed lips.
  3. flattened by or as if by pressure: compressed wallboard.
  4. Zoology, Botany. flattened laterally.

verb (used with object)

  1. to press together; force into less space.
  2. to cause to become a solid mass: to compress cotton into bales.
  3. to condense, shorten, or abbreviate: The book was compressed by 50 pages.
  4. Computers. to reduce the storage space required for (data) by changing its format: The algorithm should compress the video file without losing any quality.


  1. Medicine/Medical. a soft, cloth pad held in place by a bandage and used to provide pressure or to supply moisture, cold, heat, or medication.
  2. an apparatus for compressing cotton bales.
  3. a warehouse for storing cotton bales before shipment.


  1. squeezed together or condensed
  2. (of the form of flatfishes, certain plant parts, etc) flattened laterally along the whole length

verb (kəmˈprɛs)

  1. (tr) to squeeze together or compact into less space; condense
  2. computing to apply a compression program to (electronic data) so that it takes up less space

noun (ˈkɒmprɛs)

  1. a wet or dry cloth or gauze pad with or without medication, applied firmly to some part of the body to relieve discomfort, reduce fever, drain a wound, etc
  2. a machine for packing material, esp cotton, under pressure

late 14c., “to press (something) together,” from Old French compresser “compress, put under pressure,” from Latin compressare “to press together,” frequentative of comprimere “to squeeze,” from com- “together” (see com-) + premere “to press” (see press (v.1)). Related: Compressed; compressing.


1590s in the surgical sense, from compress (v.).


  1. 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.


  1. To press or squeeze together.

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