English edit

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Etymology 1 edit

Possibly from Malay kampong, kampung (group of buildings, village), via Dutch or Portuguese,[1] altered under the influence of Etymology 2. Doublet of kampung.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

compound (plural compounds)

  1. An enclosure within which workers, prisoners, or soldiers are confined.
    Synonyms: gaol, jail, pen, pound, prison; see also Thesaurus:prison
  2. An enclosure for secure storage.
    • 2020 December 2, “Network News: News in brief: More cycle spaces”, in Rail, page 27:
      A total of 75 cycle spaces are being installed at three Greater Anglia stations - [...]. And a secure compound for bicycles is being built at Cambridge North.
  3. A group of buildings situated close together, e.g. for a school or block of offices.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Normandy SR-1:
      Shepard: What kind of proof do you have that the major is dangerous?
      Transmission: Three days ago, we sent two Alliance representatives to meet with him at his compound. They have disappeared. We believe Kyle and his followers killed them.
      Transmission: That compound is a cult, Shepard. They call him 'Father Kyle' now. He's set himself up as some kind of religious leader.
    • 2019 March 7, Yuda Masayuki, “Thai court: pro-Thaksin party must disband for nominating princess”, in Nikkei Asian Review[1], Nikkei Inc, retrieved 2019-03-07:
      Some 20 supporters managed to get inside the court compounds. About half an hour after the verdict was delivered, they gathered near the Constitutional Court entrance and shouted: "On March 24, use your pen to oust the dictator."
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English compounen, from Middle French componre, compondre (to put together), from Latin componō, from Latin com- (together) + ponō (to put).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

compound (not comparable)

  1. Composed of elements; not simple.
    Synonym: composite
    Antonym: simple
    a compound word
    • 1725, Isaac Watts, Logick: Or, The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry after Truth, [], 2nd edition, London: [] John Clark and Richard Hett, [], Emanuel Matthews, [], and Richard Ford, [], published 1726, →OCLC:
      Compound substances are made up of two or more simple substances.
  2. (mathematics) Dealing with numbers of various denominations of quantity, or with processes more complex than the simple process.
    compound addition
    compound proportion
  3. (music) An octave higher than originally (i.e. a compound major second is equivalent to a major ninth).
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Noun edit

Examples (linguistics)

compound (plural compounds)

  1. Anything made by combining several things.
    Synonyms: amalgam, blend, combination, composite, mix, mixture
  2. (chemistry) A substance formed by chemical bonding of two or more elements in definite proportions by weight.
    Coordinate terms: substance, element, mixture, composite
  3. (chemistry, dated) A substance made from any combination of ingredients.
  4. (linguistics) A lexeme that consists of more than one stem.
    Synonym: compound word
  5. (law) A legal procedure whereby a criminal or delinquent avoids prosecution in a court in exchange for his payment to the authorities of a financial penalty or fine.
    Hyponyms: closed compound, open compound
    • 2018, Clarence Green, James Lambert, “Position vectors, homologous chromosomes and gamma rays: Promoting disciplinary literacy through Secondary Phrase Lists”, in English for Specific Purposes, →DOI, page 8:
      Compositionally there is no great distinction between cell wall and cell surface, both are relatively transparent compounds, but both parts of the cell are of high significance in Biology due to their central role in cell functioning.
  6. (linguistics) A lexeme that consists of more than one stem or an affix, e.g. "bookshop", "high school" or "non-standard".
    • 1989, OED2:
      In the majority of the compounds of non- the hyphen is usually retained; but it is commonly omitted in the case of a few, such as nonconformist, nonentity, nonsense, in which the etymology has been to some extent lost sight of.
  7. (rail transport) A compound locomotive, a steam locomotive with both high-pressure and low-pressure cylinders.
    • 1961 March, ""Balmore"", “Driving and firing modern French steam locomotives”, in Trains Illustrated, page 148:
      From a dead stand, with regulator full open and the lever at about 50 per cent we got up to about 60 m.p.h. by the top of the bank. The big compound was making plenty of noise - but what musical and wonderful noise!
  8. Short for compound exercise.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Verb edit

compound (third-person singular simple present compounds, present participle compounding, simple past and past participle compounded)

  1. (transitive) To form (a resulting mixture) by combining different elements, ingredients, or parts; to mingle with something else.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:mix
    to compound a medicine
  2. (transitive, law) To settle by agreeing on less than the claim, or on different terms than those stipulated.
    Synonym: settle
    to compound a debt
  3. (transitive) To settle amicably; to adjust by agreement.
    Synonym: compromise
  4. (intransitive) To come to terms of agreement; to settle by a compromise.
    Synonyms: agree; see also Thesaurus:agree
    to compound with someone / for something
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To compose; to constitute.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:compose
  6. (intransitive, finance) To increase in value with interest, where the interest is earned on both the principal sum and prior earned interest.
  7. (transitive, see usage notes) To worsen a situation.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:make matters worse
    • 2020 April 12, Simon Tisdall, “US's global reputation hits rock-bottom over Trump's coronavirus response”, in The Guardian[2]:
      [] This latest example of nationalistic self-interest compounded anger across the EU over Trump’s travel ban, imposed last month without consultation or scientific justification.
  8. (horse racing, intransitive) Of a horse: to fail to maintain speed.
    • 1855, The Sporting Review, volume 34, page 240:
      At the hill, the Warrior must have been at least ten lengths in front of Wild Dayrell; but he compounded about 200 yards on the T. Y. C. side of the Red House.
Usage notes edit

The usage in sense 7 above, “to worsen a situation” is widespread but not wholly accepted. The original meaning of the word (see senses 2–4) implies resolution of a problem, not worsening. It has been suggested (Fraser 1973) that the reverse usage arose by confusion with phrases such as compound interest.

Derived terms edit
Translations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024), “compound”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading edit