Compress vs compress

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Compress and compress  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 compress and compress, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences. 

Compress (come PRESS) is a verb that means to squeeze or flatten, to make smaller by crushing or constricting. Compress may mean to press two things together. Compress means to reduce the size of something; it may be used in a literal, physical sense or it may be used figuratively–as in to abridge information. A transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object, the word compress is derived from the Latin word, comprimere, which means to press together. Related words are compresses, compressed, compressing, compression.

Compress (COM press) is a noun that means a pad of folded material that is used to absorb bodily fluid, stanch blood flow, or relieve inflammation. A compress is usually made from absorbent material and is often used in surgery and other first-aid procedures. The noun compress is derived from the verb, compress; the plural form is compresses.


The surge began around the time rapper Travis Scott took the stage, when “the crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said. (Arizona Republic)

Our data technology solutions compress the complex data discovery to insight workflow from countless hours to minutes, saving clients time, energy and budget. (Bakersfield Californian)

Then apply a compress of ice before using an antihistamine cream to address the itching. (Majorca Daily Bulletin)

After long periods of use, they might experience eye soreness, swelling or pain, he said, adding that the best way to alleviate the symptoms is to apply a warm compress to the eyes to stimulate blood circulation and relax the muscles. (Taipei Times)

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