late 14c., "to press or pack (something) together, force or drive into a smaller compass," from Old French compresser "compress, put under pressure," from Late Latin compressus, past participle of compressare "to press together," frequentative of comprimere "to squeeze," from com "with, together" (see com-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Related: Compressed; compressing. Compressed air is attested from 1660s.
1590s in the surgical sense of "soft mass of linen or other cloth to press against some part of the body (with the aid of a bandage)," from compress (v.).
"one who or that which compresses," 1785, in reference to a type of medical instrument, from Latin compressor, agent noun from past-participle stem of comprimere "to squeeze" (see compress (v.)). As a type of surgical instrument, from 1870. As short for air compressor, from 1874.
c. 1400, "act of compressing, state of being compressed," from Old French compression (14c.) and directly from Latin compressionem (nominative compressio) "a pressing together," noun of action from past participle stem of comprimere "to squeeze" (see compress (v.)). Related: Compressional. Compressional wave is attested from 1887.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to strike," an extended sense from root *per- (1) "forward, through."
It forms all or part of: compress; depress; espresso; express; impress (v.1) "have a strong effect on the mind or heart;" imprimatur; imprint; oppress; oppression; pregnant (adj.2) "convincing, weighty, pithy;" press (v.1) "push against;" pressure; print; repress; reprimand; suppress.
"small appendage at the base of the petiole of a leaf," 1793, from French stipule, from Latin stipula "stalk (of hay), straw," from PIE *stip-ola-, from root *steip- "to stick, compress" (see stiff (adj.)).
"to bend or twist," early 14c., from cramp (n.2) and Old French crampir "to bend, twist." Later "compress forcibly" (1550s), and, figuratively, "to restrict too straitly, confine or hinder the free action" (1620s). Meaning "to fasten, secure, or confine with a cramp" is from 1650s. To cramp (one's) style is attested by 1917. Related: Cramped; cramping.
c. 1600, "astringent," especially with reference to taste, from Latin stringentem (nominative stringens), present participle of stringere (2) "to compress, contract, bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Of regulations, procedures, etc., 1846.