Etymology: Middle English, firmly put together, from Latin compactus, from past participle of compingere to put together, from com- + pangere to fasten — more at pact
Date: 14th century
1. predominantly formed or filled ; composed, made
a. having a dense structure or parts or units closely packed or joined <a compact woolen> <compact bone> b. not diffuse or verbose <a compact statement> c. occupying a small volume by reason of efficient use of space <a compact camera> <a compact formation of troops> d. short-bodied, solid, and without excess flesh 3. being a topological space and especially a metric space with the property that for any collection of open sets which contains it there is a subset of the collection with a finite number of elements which also contains it • compactly adverb • compactness noun II. verb Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to make up by connecting or combining ; compose 2. a. to knit or draw together ; combine b. to press together ; compress intransitive verb to become compacted • compactible adjective • compactor also compacter noun III. noun Date: 1601 something that is compact or compacted: a. a small cosmetic case (as for compressed powder) b. an automobile smaller than an intermediate but larger than a subcompact IV. noun Etymology: Latin compactum, from neuter of compactus, past participle of compacisci to make an agreement, from com- + pacisci to contract — more at pact Date: 1591 an agreement or covenant between two or more parties
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.