tr.v. com·pressed, com·press·ing, com·press·es
1. To press together: compressed her lips.
2. To make more compact by or as if by pressing.
3. Computers To encode (data) to minimize the space required for storage or transmittal: compressed the file so that it could be downloaded more quickly.
1. 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.
2. A machine for compressing material.
[Middle English compressen, from Old French compresser, from Late Latin compressāre, frequentative of Latin comprimere : com-, com- + premere, to press; see per-4 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
com·pressi·ble (kəm-prĕsə-bəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus