To force an object into a smaller volume while maintaining a constant mass.
Also, to make software smaller through an application like zip, and ace.

compress: A tool found in UNIX systems. It produces a .Z file that contain a lossless encoding of data in another file into the LZW format. (An explanation of LZW can be found here.) Thanks to the actions of Unisys, who owns the patent on LZW, and to the rise of free UNIX clones such as BSD and GNU/Linux, compress is on its way out, in favor of more efficient, non-patented tools such as gzip and bzip2.

compo = C = Compu$erve

compress [Unix] vt.

When used without a qualifier, generally refers to crunching of a file using a particular C implementation of compression by Joseph M. Orost et al. and widely circulated via Usenet; use of crunch itself in this sense is rare among Unix hackers. Specifically, compress is built around the Lempel-Ziv-Welch algorithm as described in "A Technique for High Performance Data Compression", Terry A. Welch, "IEEE Computer", vol. 17, no. 6 (June 1984), pp. 8-19.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Com*press" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Compressed (?); p. pr & vb. n. Compressing.] [L. compressus, p. p. of comprimere to compress: com- + premere to press. See Press.]


To press or squeeze together; to force into a narrower compass; to reduce the volume of by pressure; to compact; to condense; as, to compress air or water.

Events of centuries . . . compressed within the compass of a single life. D. Webster.

The same strength of expression, though more compressed, runs through his historical harangues. Melmoth.


To embrace sexually.



Syn. -- To crowd; squeeze; condense; reduce; abridge.


© Webster 1913.

Com"press (?), n. [F. compresse.] 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.


© Webster 1913.

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