compression meaning

[ kəm'preʃ(ə)n ] Pronunciation:   "compression" in a sentence
  • Noun: compression  kum'preshun
    1. An increase in the density of something
      - compaction, concretion, densification 
    2. The process or result of becoming smaller or pressed together
      - condensation, contraction 
    3. Encoding information while reducing the bandwidth or bits required 
    4. Applying pressure
      - compressing

    Derived forms: compressions

    See also: compress

    Type of: concentration, encoding, encryption, press, pressing, pressure, shrinkage, shrinking

    Antonym: decompression

    Encyclopedia: Compression

  • [Architecture]

    The state of being compressed, or being shortened by a force.


    The change in length produced in a test specimen by a compressive load.

  • [Electronics]
    1. In communications, the reduction or minimization of signal bandwidth.
    2. In communications, the processing of a signal to increase low-level components and thereby raise the average power level relative to the peak power level. Usually, a logarithmic function.
    3. In computer operations, the reduction or minimization of the number of bits in a digital signal or file, while still retaining all the essential information. Compare EXPANSION.

  • [Medicine]
    n : the act, process, or result of compressing esp. when involving a compressing force on a bodily part ‹compression of an artery by forceps› ‹compression of the brain by the bones of a depressed fracture›

  • [Computer]
    1. <application> (Or "compaction") The coding of data to save storage space or transmission time. Although data is already coded in digital form for computer processing, it can often be coded more efficiently (using fewer bits). For example, run-length encoding replaces strings of repeated characters (or other units of data) with a single character and a count. There are many compression algorithms and utilities. Compressed data must be decompressed before it can be used.

    The standard Unix compression utilty is called compress though GNU's superior gzip has largely replaced it. Other compression utilties include pack, zip and PKZIP.

    When compressing several similar files, it is usually better to join the files together into an archive of some kind (using tar for example) and then compress them, rather than to join together individually compressed files. This is because some common compression algorithms build up tables based on the data from their current input which they have already compressed. They then use this table to compress subsequent data more efficiently.

    See also TIFF, JPEG, MPEG, Lempel-Ziv Welch, "lossy", "lossless".

    Usenet newsgroups: comp.compression, comp.compression.research.

    2. <multimedia> Reducing the dynamic range of an audio signal, making quiet sounds louder and loud sounds quieter. Thus, when discussing digital audio, the preferred term for reducing the total amount of data is "compaction". Some advocate this term in all contexts.


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  1. both stresses are compression as in fig. 2.
  2. the compression produces increasing heat.
  3. a compression wave in decelerating flow steepens.
  4. the sphere is fabricated by compression.
  5. a gas is cooled by expansion and heated by compression.

Related Words

  1. compressibility factor meaning
  2. compressible meaning
  3. compressible fluid flow meaning
  4. compressibleness meaning
  5. compressing meaning
  6. compression bandage meaning
  7. compression bearing joint meaning
  8. compression chamber meaning
  9. compression coupling meaning
  10. compression cup meaning
PC Version