compress

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compress

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Compress

 

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.

compress

(1)
To feed data through any compression algorithm.

compress

(tool)
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 (foldoc.org)

compress

(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 ?
For a minor sunburn, apply wet compresses of cool tap water three or four times a day.
If tepid baths, cool wet compresses, Burrow's solution, or Domeboro don't improve the situation, ask your doctor to prescribe a strong hydrocortisone cream.
Gentle interventions such as oatmeal baths or cool wet compresses may be helpful; swimming may also provide relief.
Lidoderm patches, which contain the local anesthetic lidocaine, also helped--in addition to numbing the skin, the cooling sensation was soothing (cool, wet compresses also can be used on areas affected by the rash).