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Definition of "compress" []

  • To press together: compressed her lips. (verb-transitive)
  • To make more compact by or as if by pressing. (verb-transitive)
  • Computer Science To transform (data) to minimize the space required for storage or transmission: compressed the file so that it could be downloaded efficiently. (verb-transitive)
  • 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. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "compress" in a sentence
  • "For your herbal enlightenment, the cloth dipped into the strained-tea infusion is called a compress; with the steeped flowers, it becomes a poultice."
  • "Instead, soak a compress in vinegar and press (don't rub) it against the sting."
  • "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)."