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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Going to sleep was also rated as the most effective intervention and was significantly so compared with hot compress, cold compress, having a drink, and distracting self, he said.
Readings were taken at the beginning of the study and following the block design task and cold compress. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure responses to stress increased with later bedtimes.
The affected area should be washed with soap and water and cold compress applied to relive pain.
Other stellar performers at Pharmaca, he adds, include Caldera cold gel packs, which are the chain's top sellers in the segment; two Ace SKUs (the hot/cold wrap and the reusable cold compress); and two Nexcare SKUs (the re-usable hot/cold pack and the instant cold pack).
Fans of the buff leading man may need a cold compress before the first hour is up as Jackman's rugged man of the earth enjoys a gratuitous shower in the outback, water and suds cascading over his tanned, muscular frame from multiple angles and in slow motion.
Apply a cold compress and take paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Sleep was used significantly more than other interventions, such as hot compress, cold compress, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, having a drink, and exercise.
Only last month Des O'Connor and his audience were in need of a cold compress after she gave them a lesson in booty-shaking during his daytime TV show.
A cold compress or rinsing irritated skin in cool water may be the oldest way to ease an itch.
This often means removing the stingers, washing the area with soap and water, and applying a cold compress.
Cold compress was applied on the swollen part of her head and she was advised to see a doctor if the ache persists.
- If you experience discomfort (pain, tenderness or swelling) at the venipuncture site, apply a cold compress for 20 minutes.