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, ‐

General Punctuation
U+2011, ‑

General Punctuation
­ U+00AD, ­
(Abbreviation: SHY)
Latin-1 Supplement ®


  A user suggests that this Translingual entry be cleaned up, giving the reason: “This is purportedly a Translingual entry, but only English examples are offered. Either the senses should be moved to an English entry, or non-English examples (of e.g. Punctuation mark sense 2.1) should be added. Conjunction sense 2 is English-specific”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) or the talk page for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.

Punctuation markEdit

(English name hyphen)

  1. Separates certain pieces of text.
    1. Separates syllables.
      • 1848, Das neue Buchstabir- und Lesebuch: zum Gebrauch Deutscher Volkschulen 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 quote)
    2. Separates letters.
      WORD spells "word"
      • 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 quote)
    3. Splits a word across a line break (called hyphenation).
      We, therefore, the represen
      tatives of the United States
      • 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—201 1). 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 quote)
    4. Marks a point where a morpheme (a suffix, a prefix, etc.) is supposed to be attached to a word.
      Happiness ends with -ness.
      • 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 quote)
  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.
    5. Indicates common parts of repeated compounds.
      nineteenth and twentieth‐century
      • 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 quote)
    6. Connects words in some situations, akin to a space.
    7. Connects the year, the month and the day, in dates.
      1789-07-14 the date of the first Bastille Day
  3. Indicates stuttering.
    Wwwould you marry me?
    • 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 quote)
  4. Separates the components of a pun.
    This is a catastrophe! (a catastrophe involving cats)
  5. Hides letters.
    Gd for God
    • 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 quote)

Usage notesEdit


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:


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.


  • (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.

Derived termsEdit


  1. Joins the components of compounds.
    1. Joins the components of coordinative compounds, with equal components.
      secretary-general; yellow-green; a here-today-gone-tomorrow attitude; kitchen-dinette-office
    2. Joins the components of subordinative compounds, with a dominant component or head.
      a has-been; cholesterol-free; short-changing


See alsoEdit