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[kuh m-pres-er] /kəmˈprɛs ər/
a person or thing that compresses.
Anatomy. a muscle that compresses some part of the body.
Surgery. an instrument for compressing a part of the body.
a pump or other machine for reducing volume and increasing pressure of gases in order to condense the gases, drive pneumatically powered machinery, etc.
Electronics. a transducer that produces an output with a range of voltages whose ratio is smaller than that of the range of the input signal.
Compare expander (def 2).
Origin of compressor
1745-55; compress + -or2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for compressor
  • The anti-icing system prevents ice from forming by blowing hot air from within the compressor of the engine.
  • The two plants that are in operation use conventional gas turbines with the store of compressed air replacing the compressor.
  • The use of wind power to run the compressor means that no fuel is burned in the process, unlike conventional compressors.
  • Because a fridge-size external air compressor powers the actuators, locomotion was sacrificed.
  • There isn't much you can do about that without a compressor.
  • Alternatively, it can be plugged into the mains for four hours and an on-board compressor will do the job.
  • He added that it might have been caused by grease or a faulty compressor.
  • To maximize space in your luggage, use a manual clothes compressor, which is a plastic bag with nozzles.
  • Instead of using a mechanical compressor running on electricity, thermal coolers are powered with hot water.
  • Standard air conditioners then change the refrigerant gas back to liquid using an electric compressor.
British Dictionary definitions for compressor


any reciprocating or rotating device that compresses a gas
the part of a gas turbine that compresses the air before it enters the combustion chambers
any muscle that causes compression of any part or structure
a medical instrument for holding down a part of the body
an electronic device for reducing the variation in signal amplitude in a transmission system Compare expander, compander
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 compressor

1839, from Latin compressor, agent noun from comprimere (see compress (v.)). As a type of surgical instrument, from 1870. As short for air compressor, from 1874.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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compressor in Medicine

compressor com·pres·sor (kəm-prěs'ər)
A muscle that causes compression of a structure upon contraction.

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