Whenever something is squished together, compression takes place, like a tight bandage around your sprained ankle — the compression helps protect it from further injury.

Compression comes from the Latin word compressare, meaning “to press together.” Compression is an important part of how car engines function: fuel and air are compressed then ignited and that makes the power that turns the wheels. Compression can also happen to your day's schedule, such as when a snow storm causes school to start late, a schedule compression means that you have all your classes but they are shorter.

Definitions of compression

n the act of applying pressure

decompressing, decompression
relieving pressure (especially bringing a compressed person gradually back to atmospheric pressure)
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squeeze, squeezing
the act of gripping and pressing firmly
condensation, condensing
the act of increasing the density of something
compaction, crunch, crush
the act of crushing
the action or process of compressing
(pathology) sudden constriction of a hollow organ (as a blood vessel)
the act of forcing yourself (or being forced) into or through a restricted space
(pathology) constriction of a body part so as to cut off the flow of blood or other fluid
pinch, tweak
a squeeze with the fingers
inspissation, thickening
the act of thickening
grind, mill, pulverisation, pulverization
the act of grinding to a powder or dust
the act of forcing something out by squeezing or pressing
expulsion, extrusion
squeezing out by applying pressure
decrease in the diameter of blood vessels
Type of:
press, pressing, pressure
the act of pressing; the exertion of pressure

n the process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together

condensation, contraction
coarctation, constriction
tight or narrow compression
Type of:
shrinkage, shrinking
process or result of becoming less or smaller

n an increase in the density of something

compaction, concretion, densification
Type of:
increase in density

n encoding information while reducing the bandwidth or bits required

restoring compressed information to its normal form for use or display
image compression
the compression of graphics for storage or transmission
a set of standards adopted by the moving pictures experts group for the compression of digital video and audio data or a file of data compressed according to those standards
Type of:
encoding, encryption
the activity of converting data or information into code

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