Compact vs compact

Photo of author


Compact and compact are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. We will examine the definitions of the words compact and compact, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.

Compact (KAHM packt) may be used as an adjective to mean something that is small, solid, or densely packed. The adverb form is compactly. This use of compact is derived from the Latin word, compactus, which means concentrated. When used as a noun, compact may refer to a small cosmetic case with a mirror, or a small car. The plural form is compacts. The noun compact may also mean a formal agreement. This use of the word compact is derived from the Latin word compactum, which means agreement.

Compact (come PACKT) is used as a verb to mean to compress or condense. Related words are compacts, compacted, compacting. This use of the word compact is derived from the Latin word, compingere, which means to press together.


Water is life, and the Compact honors our trust responsibilities, creates jobs, and prevents decades of costly litigation while investing in infrastructure and providing certainty to water users everywhere. (The Sidney Herald)

Hyundai’s Elantra compact sedan has a daring new look, and the beloved Honda Civic will also get an attractive redesign early next year as previewed by a prototype sedan. (Car and Driver Magazine)

“When people walk on this all the time every foot is compacting that soil,” Foret said. (The Daily Iberian)

Tip the mixture into the baking tin and gently smooth the surface level, but do not compress or compact the mixture. (The Guardian)