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[kuh m-pahyl] /kəmˈpaɪl/
verb (used with object), compiled, compiling.
to put together (documents, selections, or other materials) in one book or work.
to make (a book, writing, or the like) of materials from various sources:
to compile an anthology of plays; to compile a graph showing changes in profit.
to gather together:
to compile data.
Computers. to translate (a computer program) from a high-level language into another language, usually machine language, using a compiler.
Origin of compile
1275-1325; Middle English < Latin compīlāre to rob, pillage, steal from another writer, equivalent to com- com- + -pīlāre, perhaps akin to pīla column, pier, pile1, pīlāre to fix firmly, plant (hence, pile up, accumulate)
Related forms
precompile, verb (used with object), precompiled, precompiling.
recompile, verb (used with object), recompiled, recompiling.
uncompiled, adjective
well-compiled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for compiling
  • Without foreknowledge of this sample space, one lacks the basis for compiling the appropriate statistics.
  • The state also is compiling a clearinghouse of hazards posed by chemicals under another section of the law.
  • He is still compiling data, but has come to some initial conclusions.
  • He has been compiling his own dictionary of the language.
  • It's a wonderfully geeky system for compiling a television show.
  • Evan is compiling stories from the hunters and interviewing the people who were on his tail.
  • In doing so, you will enjoy the satisfaction of compiling an excellent work record and promoting civil behavior at the workplace.
  • Often he had his calculator on the side, adding and weighting and subtracting and compiling.
  • Why not a chapter about the absurdity of a life spent compiling books of popular philosophy and psychology.
  • State officials blame the amount of time they had to spend manually compiling the information for the missed deadline.
British Dictionary definitions for compiling


verb (transitive)
to make or compose from other materials or sources: to compile a list of names
to collect or gather for a book, hobby, etc
(computing) to create (a set of machine instructions) from a high-level programming language, using a compiler
Word Origin
C14: from Latin compīlāre to pile together, plunder, from com- together + pīlāre to thrust down, pack
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 compiling



early 14c., from Old French compiler "compile, collect" (13c.), from Latin compilare "to plunder, rob," probably originally "bundle together, heap up;" hence "to pack up and carry off," from com- "together" (see com-) + pilare "to compress, ram down." Related: Compiled; compiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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