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1. a wet or dry cloth or gauze pad with or without medication, applied firmly to some part of the body to relieve discomfort, reduce fever, drain a wound, etc.
2. a machine for packing material, esp cotton, under pressure



a bandage used for healing purposes.

A dry compress (usually cotton-gauze) is applied to a painful or injured part of the body (wound, burn) to protect it from chilling and other external irritants and to absorb any discharges. Wet compresses may be either cold (lotion) or hot (poultice). A heating compress (a damp material covered with waterproof paper or oilcloth and a layer of cotton) is used with inflammatory processes as a revulsive and resorptive. A medicinal compress is one in which medicinal substances (ointments, pastes, novocain) are added to the water.


To feed data through any compression algorithm.


The Unix program "compress", now largely supplanted by gzip.

Unix compress was written in C by Joseph M. Orost, James A. Woods et al., and was widely circulated via Usenet. It uses the Lempel-Ziv Welch algorithm and normally produces files with the suffix ".Z".

Compress uses variable length codes. Initially, nine-bit codes are output until they are all used. When this occurs, ten-bit codes are used and so on, until an implementation-dependent maximum is reached.

After every 10 kilobytes of input the compression ratio is checked. If it is decreasing then the entire string table is discarded and information is collected from scratch.


(1) To compact data to save space. See data compression and archive program.

(2) A Unix utility used to compress files. This is the perfect example of poor technical naming. When a common name is used to name a function, it becomes tedious to document the process. For example, "use gzip to compress the file instead of compress because..." See archive formats, tar, gzip and data compression.
References in periodicals archive ?
The affected area should be washed with soap and water and cold compress applied to relive pain.
What does a nursing mom do if it's 2:00 AM and she needs a cold compress to use after feedings to reduce engorgement, or a warm compress to work out a plugged duct?
Cold compress was applied on the swollen portion of her head and she was advised to see a doctor should her headache persist.
Raise the affected body part and apply a cold compress for 10 minutes or rub an ice cube over the affected area until it melts.
After the bleeding has stopped, an ice cold compress over the bridge of the nose will help.
Rubbing the painful muscle or applying a cold compress can also help get rid of muscle cramps
l A cold compress (a cotton wool pad soaked in cold water) will relieve and rest tired eyes by reducing the blood flow and remove any toxic build- up.
They said he punched her hard on the nose and she needed a cold compress on it.
Sprinkle a drop or two on a hot or cold compress and apply to your temple.
If the burn or injury is too severe for the patient to be taken to hospital with a cold compress in place call 999.
Apply a cold compress, such as an ice pack or a cold pad.
Try to cool him down with a cold compress on his head when he is not shivering and give him paracetamol to reduce his body temperature