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 make-up 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 March 05, 2018

Definitions of compact from WordNet
compact (v.)
have the property of being packable or of compacting easily;
This powder compacts easily
Synonyms: pack
compact (v.)
compress into a wad;
Synonyms: pack / bundle / wad
compact (v.)
make more compact by or as if by pressing;
Synonyms: compress / pack together
compact (v.)
squeeze or press together;
compact (n.)
a small cosmetics case with a mirror; to be carried in a woman's purse;
Synonyms: powder compact
compact (n.)
a signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action;
Synonyms: covenant / concordat
compact (n.)
a small and economical car;
Synonyms: compact car
compact (adj.)
closely and firmly united or packed together;
compact clusters of flowers
compact soil
compact (adj.)
having a short and solid form or stature;
a wrestler of compact build
Synonyms: heavyset / stocky / thick / thickset
compact (adj.)
briefly giving the gist of something;
a compact style is brief and pithy
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.