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 ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.