General English

General Science

  • adjective referring to something which does not take up much space
  • verb to reduce the space taken by something


  • verb to compress the ground and make it hard, e.g. by driving over it with heavy machinery or as the result of a lot of people walking on it


  • adjective small, close together, or not taking much space
  • verb to make smaller or more dense by pressing

Origin & History of “compact”

there are two distinct words compact in English; both are of Latin origin, but they come from completely different sources. The adjective, ‘compressed’ (14th c.), comes from Latin compactus, the past participle of compingere, a compound verb formed from com- ‘together’ and pangere ‘fasten’. The noun use ‘small case for face powder’ is 20th-century and based on the notion of firmly compacted powder. Compact ‘agreement’ (16th c.) comes from Latin compactum, a noun based on the past participle of the verb compacīscī ‘come to an agreement’. The unprefixed form pacīscī, a relative of Latin pax ‘peace’, gave English pact (15th c.).