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[dee-kuh m-pres] /ˌdi kəmˈprɛs/
verb (used with object)
to cause to undergo decompression.
verb (used without object)
to undergo decompression.
Informal. to relax; unwind.
Origin of decompress
1900-05; translation of French décomprimer. See de-, compress
Related forms
decompressive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for decompress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He cited the waste of oxygen which resulted by having to decompress Bandit every time someone left or entered the ship.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
British Dictionary definitions for decompress


to relieve (a substance) of pressure or (of a substance) to be relieved of pressure
to return (a diver, caisson worker, etc) to a condition of normal atmospheric pressure gradually from a condition of increased pressure or (of a diver, etc) to be returned to such a condition
Derived Forms
decompression, noun
decompressive, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for decompress

1905, from de- + compress. Related: Decompressed; decompressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for decompress



To be relieved of stress; regain equilibrium; relax; lay back, unwind: He'll be whisked away to some undisclosed place where he can decompress

[1970+; fr the gradual lowering of atmospheric pressure as one returns from a deep underwater dive]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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