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(kŏm-prĕs′ŏr) 1. An instrument or device that applies a compressive force, as in compaction of gold. 2. A muscle that compresses a part, as the compressor hemispherium bulbi, which compresses the bulb of the urethra.

air c. A machine that compresses air into storage tanks for use in air syringes, air turbine handpieces, and other air-driven tools.

compromised host

(kom′prŏ-mīzd″) SEE: under host.

Compton scattering

(komp′tŏn) [Arthur H. Compton, U.S. physicist and Nobel laureate, 1892–1962] An interaction between x-rays and matter in which the incoming photon ejects a loosely bound outer-shell electron. The resulting change in the direction of the x-ray photon causes scatter, increasing the dose and degrading the radiographic image. Most interactions between x-rays and matter are of this type, esp. at high energies. SEE: scatter.


(kŏm-pŭl′shŏn) [L. compulsio, an urge] A repetitive, stereotyped act that is performed to relieve fear connected with obsession and, if denied, increases anxiety. It was formerly called compulsion neurosis. compulsive (kŏm-pŭl′sĭv), adj.


(kŏm-pŭl′sor-ē) 1. Compelling action against one’s will. 2. Required.

computational knowledge

The use of a computer to interpret data, used as a basis for forming hypotheses, establishing trends, testing relationships, and making decisions.

computer-aided detection

ABBR: CAD. Computer-aided diagnosis.

computer-aided diagnosis

ABBR: CADx. Diagnosis that is clarified or enhanced by electronic pattern recognition, machine learning, or data processing. CADx is used, for example, to analyze complex images—such as mammograms—for abnormalities.

computer-assisted instruction

SEE: under instruction.

computer-assisted interviewing, computer-assisted self-interviewing

ABBR: CAI. The gathering of data from patients about such matters as allergies, behaviors, medical conditions and medications via direct input into an electronic health record by the patient.

computerized physician or provider order entry

ABBR: CPOE. Any system that allows registered health care providers to request drugs, laboratory studies, or radiological tests by entering those requests in an electronic health care record.

computer literacy

1. The ability to acquire and apply a basic understanding of computer hardware and software to solve problems or access information. 2. Educational programs designed to help students gain mastery in computer applications.

computer science

SEE: under science.

computer vision syndrome

ABBR: CVS. Eye symptoms that result from excessive computer use. Commonly reported findings include blurry distance vision, visual fatigue, a sense of eye dryness, headaches, or neck or shoulder pain. CVS may be improved with ...

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