For some words there is a noun for the act of doing. For example, "deletion" is the act of deleting, "omission" is the act of omitting, "summation" is the act or process of forming a sum. Is there such a word for "zipping"? I'm asking from a programming context, so I'm talking about zipping a file. That may inform the question, since many of these verbs have an object or lack thereof as a result.

Here are a few examples of the types of sentences I'm thinking of:

He had disrupted the class, and the students did not appreciate the disruption.
After a deletion, the program will return to its previous state.
The reformation of the group was mainly due to Sarah's newfound zeal for scrapbooking.

The analogous usage would be "disrupt"->"disruption", "delete"->"deletion", and "reform"->"reformation".

  • 2
    Strictly speaking, compression. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:40
  • 5
    What's wrong with "zipping"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:40
  • Hm, I like it! @ michael.hor257k that sounds about right, even though technically it's not the same base word. @Hot Licks I can't use zipping because I'm not referring to the act while it's happening
    – Barry L
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:46
  • 1
    It is unclear what you are looking for. How is 'zipping', the gerund, not what you want. Please edit your question to clarify at length, adding at least two example sentences with a slot where you want to put your requested word.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 22:13
  • By induction, Ziption
    – Hugh Nolan
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


See compression at techtarget.com, defined as

Compression is a reduction in the number of bits needed to represent data.

It is the word for zipping a file.

  • That seems correct for my uses, but I'm still curious about whether such a word exists for the word "zip"
    – Barry L
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:47
  • 1
    Top results and popular dictionaries return nothing but zipping.
    – vickyace
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:50
  • Yeah, it's so disappointing!
    – Barry L
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 21:54

Zipping and compression aren't the same. You can zip without compression. Zipping refers to combining files into a container file; compression is optional. The general term for combining files in this way is "archiving", so the noun would be archive (which also happens to be a verb).

"Archiving" is the act of putting files in an archive, which is a file that contains one or more files in a compressed format.-(webopedia)

Note that archiving also has other meanings related to saving files. Although this particular definition refers to files in a compressed form, that is common, but not a necessary condition of archiving. There is also an inherent "compression" of space requirements due to saving wasted space associated with minimum and incremental units of space used for storing files.

"Zipping" is often used as a generic synonym for archiving, but "zip" actually refers to a specific archive file format that was one of the very early ones for personal computers and became extremely popular. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip_%28file_format%29 for more background.)

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