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[dee-kuh m-presh-uh n] /ˌdi kəmˈprɛʃ ən/
the gradual reduction in atmospheric pressure experienced by divers, construction workers, etc., after working in deep water or breathing compressed air.
the act or process of releasing from pressure.
Surgery. the procedure of relieving increased cranial, cardiac, or orbital pressure.
a state of relief from pressure; a return to normalcy after a stressful period or situation.
Computers. the restoration of data that has undergone compression to its original state.
Origin of decompression
1900-05; probably < French décompression. See de-, compression Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for decompression
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With Tom, it was only a matter of decompression and he soon was up and about.

  • If the skull fracture happened in a uremic, the decompression would probably do no harm.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension: Louis Marshall Warfield
  • Going deeper would mean stopping for decompression on the way up.

    The Wailing Octopus Harold Leland Goodwin
  • The carburetor flushes his blood with oxygen, the decompression tank adjusts him to the lack of air-pressure.

    Sjambak John Holbrook Vance
  • Thank heavens, he was taken to the decompression chamber instead of the police station!

    Signal in the Dark Mildred A. Wirt
  • Here he was placed in a decompression chamber for several hours and later transferred to a hospital bed.

  • If the decompression is not properly effected, the diver will suffer agonies and even death from the so-called "Caisson Disease."

    Inventions of the Great War

    A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond
  • The decompression was complete and he suffered no symptoms of the "Caisson Disease."

    Inventions of the Great War

    A. Russell (Alexander Russell) Bond
  • He picked up the phone and called the decompression chamber building.

Word Origin and History for decompression

1905, from de- + compression.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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decompression in Medicine

decompression de·com·pres·sion (dē'kəm-prěsh'ən)

  1. The relief of pressure on a body part by surgery.

  2. The restoration of deep sea divers and caisson workers to atmospheric pressure by means of a decompression chamber.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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