[adjective kuhm-pakt, kom-, kom-pakt; verb kuhm-pakt; noun kom-pakt]


verb (used with object)


Origin of compact

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 for compact Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compactly

Historical Examples of compactly

  • They were all small and compactly built; but Arethusa had got her height from her father.

    The Heart of Arethusa

    Francis Barton Fox

  • What pure English words could have rendered these things as compactly and graphically?

    Robert Burns

    Principal Shairp.

  • He was himself well and compactly made, and strong of his age.

  • Its difference from other books is that it deals with all of its subjects so compactly.

    The Greatest English Classic

    Cleland Boyd McAfee

  • "It is just what Julian needs," she said compactly as she folded and sealed and stamped it.

    Aunt Jane

    Jennette Lee

British Dictionary definitions for compactly



adjective (kəmˈpækt, ˈkɒmpækt)

closely packed together; dense
neatly fitted into a restricted space
concise; brief
well constructed; solid; firm
(foll by of) composed or made up (of)
denoting a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been published in broadsheet form
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
US and Canadian (of a car) small and economical

verb (kəmˈpækt) (tr)

to pack or join closely together; compress; condense
(foll by of) to create or form by pressing togethersediment compacted of three types of clay
metallurgy to compress (a metal powder) to form a stable product suitable for sintering

noun (ˈkɒmpækt)

a small flat case containing a mirror, face powder, etc, designed to be carried in a woman's handbag
US and Canadian a comparatively small and economical car
metallurgy a mass of metal prepared for sintering by cold-pressing a metal powder
a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been publis hed in broadsheet form
Derived Formscompacter, nouncompaction, nouncompactly, adverbcompactness, noun

Word Origin for compact

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




an official contract or agreement

Word Origin for compact

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 compactly



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.



"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).



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper