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compact1

[adjective kuh m-pakt, kom-, kom-pakt; verb kuh m-pakt; noun kom-pakt]
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adjective
  1. joined or packed together; closely and firmly united; dense; solid: compact soil.
  2. arranged within a relatively small space: a compact shopping center; a compact kitchen.
  3. designed to be small in size and economical in operation.
  4. solidly or firmly built: the compact body of a lightweight wrestler.
  5. expressed concisely; pithy; terse; not diffuse: a compact review of the week's news.
  6. composed or made (usually followed by of): a book compact of form and content.
  7. Also bicompact. Mathematics. (of a set) having the property that in any collection of open sets whose union contains the given set there exists a finite number of open sets whose union contains the given set; having the property that every open cover has a finite subcover.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to join or pack closely together; consolidate; condense.
  2. to make firm or stable.
  3. to form or make by close union or conjunction; make up or compose.
  4. Metallurgy. to compress (metallic or metallic and nonmetallic powders) in a die to be sintered.
  5. to crush into compact form for convenient disposal or for storage until disposal: to compact rubbish.
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noun
  1. a small case containing a mirror, face powder, a puff, and sometimes rouge.
  2. Also called compact car. an automobile that is smaller than an intermediate but larger than a subcompact and generally has a combined passenger and luggage volume of 100–110 cu. ft. (2.8–3.1 m3).
  3. Metallurgy. (in powder metallurgy) an object to be sintered formed of metallic or of metallic and nonmetallic powders compressed in a die.
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Origin of compact1

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin compāctus (past participle of compingere to shut away, bind together), equivalent to com- com- + pag-, variant stem of pangere to fix, arrange (akin to pāx peace; cf. pact, compact2) + -tus past participle suffix
Related formscom·pact·ed·ly, adverbcom·pact·ed·ness, nouncom·pact·ly, adverbcom·pact·ness, nounun·com·pact·ed, adjectivewell-com·pact·ed, adjective

Synonyms

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2. small, snug. 5. concise, succinct, brief. 8. compress. 9. stabilize, solidify.

compact2

[kom-pakt]
noun
  1. a formal agreement between two or more parties, states, etc.; contract: the proposed economic compact between Germany and France.
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Origin of compact2

1580–90; < Latin compactum, compectum, noun use of neuter of compactus (past participle of compacīscī to make an agreement), equivalent to com- com- + pac- (stem of pacīscī to secure by negotiation, akin to pāx settlement ending hostilities, peace) + -tus past participle ending

Synonyms

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treaty, pact, entente, convention, concordat.

Synonym study

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for compact

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A compact little group of men rounded the bend and approached.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The officers and other white men stood about in a compact and silent group.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The hour that sealed the compact between us was one of regret and alarm.

  • This writing, mighty Ferdinand, contains the articles of our compact.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • With the Christian monarch, there is no hope of peace or compact.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton


British Dictionary definitions for compact

compact1

adjective (kəmˈpækt, ˈkɒmpækt)
  1. closely packed together; dense
  2. neatly fitted into a restricted space
  3. concise; brief
  4. well constructed; solid; firm
  5. (foll by of) composed or made up (of)
  6. denoting a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been published in broadsheet form
  7. logic (of a relation) having the property that for any pair of elements such that a is related to b, there is some element c such that a is related to c and c to b, as less than on the rational numbers
  8. US and Canadian (of a car) small and economical
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verb (kəmˈpækt) (tr)
  1. to pack or join closely together; compress; condense
  2. (foll by of) to create or form by pressing togethersediment compacted of three types of clay
  3. metallurgy to compress (a metal powder) to form a stable product suitable for sintering
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noun (ˈkɒmpækt)
  1. a small flat case containing a mirror, face powder, etc, designed to be carried in a woman's handbag
  2. US and Canadian a comparatively small and economical car
  3. metallurgy a mass of metal prepared for sintering by cold-pressing a metal powder
  4. a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been publis hed in broadsheet form
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Derived Formscompacter, nouncompaction, nouncompactly, adverbcompactness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin compactus, from compingere to put together, from com- together + pangere to fasten

compact2

noun
  1. an official contract or agreement
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin compactum, from compaciscī to agree, from com- together + paciscī to contract; see pact
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for compact

adj.

late 14c., from Middle French compact (14c.) or directly from Latin compactus "concentrated," past participle of compingere "to fasten together, construct," from com- "with, together" (see com-) + pangere "to fix, fasten" (see pact). Compact car is 1960. Compact disc is from 1979.

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n.1

"agreement," 1590s, from Latin compactum "agreement," noun use of neuter past participle of compacisci "come to agreement," from com- "together" (see com-) + pacisci "to covenant, contract" (see pact).

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v.

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

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n.2

"make-up case," 1921, from compact (adj.), based on its containing compacted face powder.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper