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  1. A compound is a word or word group that consists of two or more parts that work together as a unit to express a specific concept. Compounds can be formed by combining two or more words (as in double–check, cost–effective, farmhouse, graphic equalizers, park bench, around–the–clock, or son of a gun ), by combining prefixes or suffixes ...

  2. Compound definition, composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients: Soap is a compound substance. See more.

  3. compound: [verb] to put together (parts) so as to form a whole : combine.

    • Meaning and Purpose
    • Typical Usage
    • Basic Structure
    • Hyphenated and Closed Compounds

    A compound word is, simply, two words joined to make a new and often more specific word applicable to a particular circumstance. For instance the word "news" can mean many things, though it usually refers to the delivery of current information. When combined with the word "paper," which could also refer to several different things, the compound word, "newspaper," is formed and refers to a specific object. Similarly, a "paperclip" is a particular type of clip intended for a specific purpose.

    It is important to understand the use of compound words because some of them may have different definitions when the words are joined, rather than merely used consecutively in a sentence. This distinction is vital to ensuring proper meaning in a statement. For example, the compound word "overall" takes on a slightly different meaning than the two words "over all" in a sentence. This can be seen in the two following sentences: "Overall, I enjoyed the film," and "The film was picked over all the others to win an award." In the first example, "overall" is a transitional word that sums up the thoughts of the speaker. It could be used as a synonym for terms like "in conclusion." In the second example, however, the words "over all" imply "above all the others" or "over all the others;" this usage means something is superior to something else, rather than a summation.

    When someone joins two words together to form a compound word, the spelling of those words does not usually change. Instead, the major change is simply a deletion of spaces between the words. It is, in essence, a marriage of words, where two become one. There are some exceptions to this rule of marriage. Just as many women prefer a hyphenated last name when they get married to keep their maiden names, some compound words may be hyphenated instead of being joined directly together. Compound words not joined by a hyphen are called "closed" compounds, while words joined by a hyphen are "hyphenated" compounds. There is also an "open" form for a compound word such as "post office," in which the space is not deleted but the two words function as one.

    When choosing whether to join words, either by hyphen or deletion of space, a writer should consult a dictionary for the correct structure. There are many words that may be compounded, and sometimes it can be difficult to determine how they should be joined and in what context it is appropriate to do so. Generally, when someone joins two words that are not usually compounded, the writer uses a hyphen to express a relationship, instead of creating a compound word that does not actually exist. This is often done for words that are used together to create an adjectivesuch as "well-known" or "bright-red."

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  5. If you compound a problem you add something to it to make it worse, like say, putting water on a grease fire. Compound means to combine; a compound is a combination or mixture of two or more things.

  6. Open Compound Word Examples . Open compound words are formed when two words remain separate on the page but are used together to create a new idea with a specific meaning. . For example, “attorney” and “general” are used to form the open compound word “attorney general

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