compound word

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

compound +‎ word

NounEdit

compound word (plural compound words)

  1. (linguistics) A word composed of two or more stems. Examples include pancake, two-tone, and school bus. In English, it may or may not have a space or hyphen.
    Synonym: compound
    Hyponyms: closed compound, open compound, solid compound
    • 1700, A. Lane, A Key to the Art of Letters[1]
      A Compound Word, is that which is Compounded of two or more Words; as a Book-Seller, Compounded of Book and Seller; a Watch-man, of Watch and Man.
    • 1858, Charles Peter Mason, English grammar[2]:
      A word is a compound word when it is made up of two or more parts, each of which is a significant word by itself; as, apple-tree, tea-spoon, spend-thrift.
    • 1911, “Bow”, in Encyclopædia Britannica:
      Thus it is found in English compound words, e.g. “elbow,” “rainbow,” “bow-net,” “bow-window,” “bow-knot,” “saddle-bow,” and by itself as the designation of a great variety of objects.
    • 1994, James R. Hurford, Grammar: A Student's Guide[3]:
      Compound words contrast with words built up by the use of affixes. Thus, for example, re-use, substandard, hyperventilate, prehistoric and pro-communist woud not usually be counted as compound words ...
    • 2014, Kelly Hackett, Compound Words--Banana Splits Literacy Center:
      Some important vocabulary words your child needs to study are compound words. A compound word is made when two words are joined together to form a new word. For example, the word rainbow is made using the words rain and bow.
    • 2018, Dale D. Johnson, Words: The Foundation of Literacy[4]:
      As stated above, compound words are formed by joining two words into one word. Some compound words retain elements of the meanings of the two words. Examples include sunlight, flagpole, flying fish, and bridge-builder.
  2. A word composed of two or more stems or a prefixed word.
    • 1784, Noah Webster, A Grammatical Institute of the English language[5][6]
      A compound word is formed of two or more simple words; as, country-man, gold-smith, ink-horn; or of a simple word and a preposition; as, over-come, with-draw, dis-engage.

Usage notesEdit

  • Compounds are hard to define exactly, especially since it is difficult to distinguish compounds from phrases.[1][2]

TranslationsEdit

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