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Compression
Contraction

A transformation in which a figure grows smaller. Compressions may be with respect to a point (compression of a geometric figure) or with respect to the axis of a graph (compression of a graph).

Note: Some high school textbooks erroneously use the word dilation to refer to all transformations in which the figure changes size, whether the figure becomes larger or smaller. Compression (or contraction) refers to transformations in which the figure becomes smaller. Dilation properly refers only to transformations in which the figure grows larger. Unfortunately the English language has no word that refers collectively to both stretching and shrinking.

 

 

See also

Dilation of a geometric figure, dilation of a graph

 


  this page updated 21-feb-16
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes