Meaning of COMPACT in English


I. com ‧ pact 1 /kəmˈpækt, ˈkɒmpækt $ kəmˈpækt/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: compactus , past participle of compingere 'to put together' , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + pangere 'to fasten' ]

1 . small, but arranged so that everything fits neatly into the space available – used to show approval:

The compact design of the machine allows it to be stored easily.

The students’ rooms were compact, with a desk, bed, and closet built in.

2 . packed or put together firmly and closely:

The bushes grew in a compact mass.

3 . small, but solid and strong:

a short compact-looking man

—compactly adverb

—compactness noun [uncountable]

• • •


▪ small not large in size, amount, or effect:

a small boat


small businesses


a small amount of money


small changes

▪ little [usually before noun] small – used about objects, places, and living things. Used especially with other adjectives to show how you feel about someone or something:

It’s a very pretty little town.


The poor little dog has hurt its leg.


The cake was decorated with little flowers.

▪ low used about prices, rents, levels, or standards:

People on low incomes are finding it difficult to pay fuel bills.


The crime rate in the area is relatively low.

▪ slight [usually before noun] small and not very important or not very noticeable:

a slight problem


There’s been a slight improvement in his health.


a slight increase in sales

▪ minor small and not important or not serious:

minor injuries


We’ve made some minor changes to the program.

▪ compact small – used about places, buildings etc in which space is used effectively, or about phones, cameras, cars etc which are designed to be much smaller than usual:

The apartments are very compact.


a compact camera


It is a pleasant and compact city.

▪ poky especially British English used about a room, house etc that is too small:

a poky bedroom


a poky flat

▪ cramped used about a space, room, or vehicle that is too small because people do not have enough room to move around:

They all lived together in a cramped apartment.


The car feels cramped with four adults in it.

II. com ‧ pact 2 /ˈkɒmpækt $ ˈkɑːm-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-3: Date: 1900-2000 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ compact 1 ]

[ Sense 4: Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: compactum , from compacisci 'to make an agreement' , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + pacisci 'to contract' ]

1 . a small flat container with a mirror, containing powder for a woman’s face

2 . a ↑ compact camera

3 . American English a small car

4 . formal an agreement between countries or people:

A compact was negotiated between the company and the union.

III. com ‧ pact 3 /kəmˈpækt/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

to press something together so that it becomes smaller or more solid:

compacted earth

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.