See also: [U+2013 EN DASH], - [U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS], [U+2212 MINUS SIGN], [U+2014 EM DASH], and [U+4E00 CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E00]

U+2010, ‐
HYPHEN

[U+200F]
General Punctuation
[U+2011]
U+2011, ‑
NON-BREAKING HYPHEN

[U+2010]
General Punctuation
[U+2012]
­ U+00AD, ­
SOFT HYPHEN
(Abbreviation: SHY)
¬
[U+00AC]
Latin-1 Supplement ®
[U+00AE]

English

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Punctuation mark

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(name hyphen)

  1. Separates certain pieces of text.
    1. Separates syllables.
      syllabification
    2. Separates letters to indicate the spelling of a word.
      WORD spells "word".
    3. Separates letters to indicate emphasis.
      • 1945 April 30, ad for Listerine shaving cream in LIFE, vol. 18, no. 18, page 7:
        35¢ TUBE LASTS AND LASTS
    4. Splits a word across a line break (called hyphenation).
      We, therefore, the represen
      tatives of the United States []
    5. Marks a point where a morpheme (a suffix, a prefix, etc.) is supposed to be attached to a word.
      Happiness ends with ness.
  2. Connects certain pieces of text.
    1. Joins prefixes and suffixes according to stylistic rules, often to avoid confusion in pronunciation or meaning.
      ultraambitious (to indicate both aes are pronounced)
      I must repress the shirt. (to avoid confusion with repress)
    2. Connects words in compound terms.
    3. Connects words in a compound modifier according to various stylistic rules.
      realworld examples (but "examples are from the real world")
    4. Connects names in some compound surnames.
      ChandlerMather
    5. Indicates common parts of repeated compounds.
      nineteenth and twentieth‐century
    6. Connects words in some situations, akin to a space.
    7. Connects the year, the month and the day, in dates.
      17890714 (the date of the first Bastille Day)
  3. Indicates stuttering.
    Wwwould you marry me?
  4. Separates the components of a pun.
    This is a catastrophe! (a catastrophe involving cats)
  5. Hides letters.
    Gd (for God)
  6. (Internet slang) Used as sentence-final punctuation.

Usage notes

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Compare:

The similar-looking hyphen-minus (-) is used more frequently, but is used for many purposes (as a hyphen, minus sign, and dash). The hyphen symbol is therefore more specific.

Most text systems consider a hyphen to be a word boundary and a valid point at which to break a line when flowing text. However, this is not always desirable behavior. The non-breaking hyphen looks identical to the regular hyphen, but is not treated as a word boundary.

A soft hyphen is generally invisible text character marking a point where hyphenation can occur without forcing a line break in an inconvenient place if the text is later reflowed. See below:

Margaret­Are­You­Grieving­Over­Goldengrove­Unleaving­Leaves­Like­The­Things­Of­Man­You­With­Your­Fresh­Thoughts­Care­For­Can­You­Ah­As­The­Heart­Grows­Older­It­Will­Come­To­Such­Sights­Colder­By­And­By­Nor­Spare­A­Sigh­Though­Worlds­Of­Wanwood­Leafmeal­Lie­And­Yet­You­Will­Weep­And­Know­Why­Now­No­Matter­Child­The­Name­Sorrows­Springs­Are­The­Same­Nor­Mouth­Had­No­Nor­Mind­Expressed­What­Heart­Heard­Of­Ghost­Guessed­It­Is­The­Blight­Man­Was­Born­For­It­Is­Margaret­You­Mourn­For

In American English, compound words are formed more liberally than in British English. Hyphenated compound nouns are also much more common in colloquial American English.

Synonyms

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  • (all sense): - (hyphen-minus), often used for its ease.
  • (distinguish syllables, US): · (interpunct)
  • (hide letters): (en-dash)
  • (connecting compounds): (en-dash), when the constituent parts already contain hyphens.

Conjunction

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  1. Joins the components of compounds.
    1. Joins the components of coordinative compounds, with equal components.
      secretarygeneral; yellowgreen; a here‐todaygone‐tomorrow attitude; kitchendinetteoffice
    2. Joins the components of subordinative compounds, with a dominant component or head.

Synonyms

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See also

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Punctuation

Further reading

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Finnish

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Punctuation mark

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  1. Alternative spelling of -

German

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Punctuation mark

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  1. Separates certain pieces of text.
    1. Separates syllables.
      • [1848, Das Neue Buchstabir- und Lesebuch, zum Gebrauch Deutscher Volksschulen in Pennsylvanien und andern Staaten, page 71:
        [] Wolf Wöl-fe wölf-isch; Wol-lust wol-lüst-ig; Wort Wör-ter Wör-ter-buch Wör-ter-büch-er []
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)]
    2. Separates letters.
      • 2013 March 8, Martin Gardner, Mathemagische Tricks, Springer-Verlag, →ISBN, page 24:
        Jetzt wird der Zuschauer aufgefordert, das Spiel zu nehmen und, von oben beginnend, eine Karte nach der anderen auszuteilen. Während er austeilt, buchstabiert er den Satz: „D-I-E-S-E K-A-R-T-E W-U-R-D-E G-E-W-Ä-H-L-T“, pro Karte genau ein Buchstabe.
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    3. Splits a word across a line break (called hyphenation).
      • 2012 October 24, Anja Pannewitz, Das Geschlecht der Führung: Supervisorische Interaktion zwischen Tradition und Transformation, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, →ISBN, page 263:
        [] (vgl. Digitales Wör-
        terbuch der deutschen Sprache des 20. Jahrhunderts, 2008–2011). Der
        Klient soll demnach maschinenäquivalent dem Geschäftsführer sichere
        Anweisungen zum Handeln kommunizieren, ihn aber nicht als Dampf-
        maschine deuten, []
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    4. Marks a point where a morpheme (a suffix, a prefix, etc.) is supposed to be attached to a word.
      • 2022 March 11, Zoja Berketova, Systemhafte Lexikologie der deutschen Gegenwartssprache, Frank & Timme GmbH, →ISBN, page 110:
        3. Substantive mit dem Suffix -keit: Sinnlosigkeit, Eindeutigkeit, Mehrdeutigkeit;
        4. Substantive mit dem Suffix -schaft: Freundschaft, Feindschaft;
        5. Substantive mit dem Suffix -tum: Irrtum, Altertum, Besitztum, Christentum, Genietum;
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  2. Connects certain pieces of text.
    1. Joins prefixes and suffixes according to stylistic rules, often to avoid confusion in pronunciation or meaning
      • 2008, Simone Simpson, Zwischen Kulturauftrag und künstlerischer Autonomie: Dresdner Plastik der 1950er und 1960er Jahre, Böhlau Verlag Köln Weimar, →ISBN, page 81:
        Denk- und Mahnmäler in kommunalem oder staatlichem Auftrag
        (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  3. Indicates stuttering.
    • 2019 September 9, Alexandra Fröhlich, Dreck am Stecken: Roman, Verlagsgruppe Random House GmbH, →ISBN:
      »W-w-was ist mit unserem G-g-großvater? Hat der d-d-das auch geglaubt?«
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
  4. Hides letters.
    • 2021 August 31, Jürgen Manemann, Revolutionäres Christentum: Ein Plädoyer, transcript Verlag, →ISBN:
      Wir müssen all das, was wir unter Religion verstehen, befragen. Jay-Z holt die Religion und G-tt aus dem Himmel zurück []
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)

Derived terms

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