the capacity of materials to withstand crushing pressure.
This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)
In mechanics, compressive strength (or compression strength) is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size (as opposed to tensile strength which withstands loads tending to elongate). In other words, compressive strength resists compression (being pushed together), whereas tensile strength resists tension (being pulled apart). In the study of strength of materials, tensile strength, compressive strength, and shear strength can be analyzed independently.
Some materials fracture at their compressive strength limit; others deform irreversibly, so a given amount of deformation may be considered as the limit for compressive load. Compressive strength is a key value for design of structures.
Compressive strength is often measured on a universal testing machine. Measurements of compressive strength are affected by the specific test method and conditions of measurement. Compressive strengths are usually reported in relationship to a specific technical standard.