[ adjective kuhm-pakt, kom-, kom-pakt; verb kuhm-pakt; noun kom-pakt ]
See synonyms for: compactcompactedcompactness on

  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.

  1. designed to be small in size and economical in operation.

  2. solidly or firmly built: the compact body of a lightweight wrestler.

  3. expressed concisely; pithy; terse; not diffuse: a compact review of the week's news.

  4. composed or made (usually followed by of): a book compact of form and content.

  5. 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.

verb (used with object)
  1. to join or pack closely together; consolidate; condense.

  2. to make firm or stable.

  1. to form or make by close union or conjunction; make up or compose.

  2. Metallurgy. to compress (metallic or metallic and nonmetallic powders) in a die to be sintered.

  3. to crush into compact form for convenient disposal or for storage until disposal: to compact rubbish.

  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).

  1. Metallurgy. (in powder metallurgy) an object to be sintered formed of metallic or of metallic and nonmetallic powders compressed in a die.

Origin of compact

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin compāctus (past participle of compingere “to shut away, put away, bind together”), equivalent to com- prefix + pag-, stem of pangere “to fix, arrange” + -tus past participle suffix; see com-; cf. peace; pact, compact2)

Other words for compact

Other words from compact

  • com·pact·ed·ly, adverb
  • com·pact·ed·ness, noun
  • com·pact·ly, adverb
  • com·pact·ness, noun
  • un·com·pact·ed, adjective
  • well-com·pact·ed, adjective

Other definitions for compact (2 of 2)

[ kom-pakt ]

  1. a formal agreement between two or more parties, states, etc.; contract: the proposed economic compact between Germany and France.

Origin of compact

First recorded in 1550–60; from Latin compactum, compectum, noun use of neuter of compactus (past participle of compacīscī “to make an agreement”), equivalent to com- prefix + pac- (stem of pacīscī “to secure by negotiation” + -tus past participle ending); see com-; cf. compact1, pact, peace

synonym study For compact

See agreement.

Other words for compact Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use compact in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for compact (1 of 2)


adjective(kəmˈpækt, ˈkɒmpækt)
  1. closely packed together; dense

  2. neatly fitted into a restricted space

  1. concise; brief

  2. well constructed; solid; firm

  3. (foll by of) composed or made up (of)

  4. denoting a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been published in broadsheet form

  5. 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

  6. US and Canadian (of a car) small and economical

verb(kəmˈpækt) (tr)
  1. to pack or join closely together; compress; condense

  2. (foll by of) to create or form by pressing together: sediment compacted of three types of clay

  1. metallurgy to compress (a metal powder) to form a stable product suitable for sintering

  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

  1. metallurgy a mass of metal prepared for sintering by cold-pressing a metal powder

  2. a tabloid-sized version of a newspaper that has traditionally been publis hed in broadsheet form

Origin of compact

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

Derived forms of compact

  • compacter, noun
  • compaction, noun
  • compactly, adverb
  • compactness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for compact (2 of 2)


/ (ˈkɒmpækt) /

  1. an official contract or agreement

Origin of 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