compact (adj.)

late 14c., of substances, "closely and firmly united," from Latin compactus "concentrated," past participle of compingere "to fasten together, construct," from com "with, together" (see com-) + pangere "to fix, fasten" (from PIE root *pag- "to fasten"). Related: Compactly; compactness. Compact car is 1960. Compact disc is from 1979.

compact (n.1)

"an agreement or contract between two or more parties," 1590s, from Latin compactum "agreement," noun use of neuter past participle of compacisci "come to agreement," from com "with, together" (see com-) + pacisci "to covenant, contract" (from PIE root *pag- "to fasten").

compact (v.1)

"to pack or press closely together," early 15c., from Latin compactus, past participle of compingere "to fasten together" (see compact (adj.)). Related: Compacted; compacting.

compact (n.2)

"small makeup case," 1919, from compact (adj.), based on its containing compacted face powder.

compact (v.2)

"to make a compact, enter into an agreement," 1530s, from compact (n.1) or else from Old French compacter. Related: Compacted; compacting.

updated on January 15, 2023