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[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.
1900-05; translation of French décomprimer. See de-, compress
Related forms
decompressive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decompress
  • It is wonderful to venture to the quiet rugged side of the island and decompress.
  • It was a quiet, undemanding job, intended to allow him to decompress from combat.
  • They argued that the cause might be stresses set up by the earthquake rupture that act to decompress a magma chamber.
  • decompress in your room with such amenities as a microwave oven, refrigerator, and cable television.
  • Bring a small folding chair or lush towel and a few books so you, too, can decompress.
  • Even beyond the filming, it took another month to decompress.
British Dictionary definitions for decompress


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 Forms
decompression, noun
decompressive, 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
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Word Origin and History for decompress

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for decompress



To be relieved of stress; regain equilibrium; relax; lay back, unwind: He'll be whisked away to some undisclosed place where he can decompress

[1970+; fr the gradual lowering of atmospheric pressure as one returns from a deep underwater dive]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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decompress in Technology

compression, data
To reverse the effects of data compression.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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