• synonyms


[ 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.


blobfishRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.

Nearby words

decompose, decomposed, decomposer, decomposition, decompound, decompress, decompression, decompression chamber, decompression sickness, deconcentrate, decondition

Origin of decompress

1900–05; translation of French décomprimer. See de-, compress
Related formsde·com·pres·sive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decompress

  • Everyone was dazed by their look at death, but relieved by the opportunity to decompress.

    I Heard About the Latest Crazed Shooter While I Watched the World Cup with Guys He Almost Killed|Daniel Genis|July 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
  • He was talking about places that give a neighborhood its stability and coherence, where we can see familiar faces and decompress.

    The Fourth Place|Richard Florida|July 6, 2010|DAILY BEAST
  • 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


/ (ˌdiːkəmˈprɛs) /


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 Formsdecompression, noundecompressive, 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

Word Origin and History for decompress



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper