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compress (verb) to press something tight to reduce its size; shorten the duration of a course of study; reduce the number of words.
When you press something tight, so that its size is reduced and it can be squeezed into a smaller space, you compress it. It is made compact. Soft material like cotton, cloth, waste paper, etc., is compressed this way so as to make them compact and easy to carry. Bales of cotton and cloth are large quantities of cotton and cloth pressed this way. That is, they are the compressed forms of large quantities of cotton, cloth, etc.. We have machines which can compress old cars into a lump of scrap metal. When the duration of a course, for convenience, is shortened, it is compressed. When a program which is offered normally for two years is reduced to eighteen months, it is compressed. To reduce the number of words in a piece of writing, and express in a fewer words the ideas contained in it, is to compress it. A précis is an example of compressing.
- Large heaps of cotton, filling the whole warehouse, when compressed into bales, could be neatly stacked in less than half the space in the warehouse.
- One convenience about gas is that large volumes of it, when compressed, can be filled into small cylinders, which are easily portable.
- The course, compressed from its usual duration of three years into two years, has found favor with ex-servicemen and older people who want to have some qualification to secure a job and settle quickly.