Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “compound”

compound

noun [C] uk   /ˈkɒm.paʊnd/ us    /ˈkɑːm-/

compound noun [C] (COMBINATION)

specialized chemistry a chemical that combines two or more elements: Salt is a compound of sodium and chlorine. Many fertilizers contain nitrogen compounds. formal something consisting of two or more different parts: Then there was his manner, a curious compound of humour and severity. specialized language a word that combines two or more different words. Often, the meaning of the compound cannot be discovered by knowing the meaning of the different words that form it. Compounds may be written either as one word or as separate words: 'Bodyguard' and 'floppy disk' are two examples of compounds.

compound noun [C] (AREA)

an area surrounded by fences or walls that contains a group of buildings: The gates opened and the troops marched into their compound. The embassy compound has been closed to the public because of a bomb threat.
Grammar

compound

verb uk   /kəmˈpaʊnd/ us  

compound verb (WORSEN)

[T often passive] to make a problem or difficult situation worse: Her terror was compounded by the feeling that she was being watched. His financial problems were compounded when he unexpectedly lost his job. Severe drought has compounded food shortages in the region.

compound verb (COMBINE)

[T] to mix two things together: Most tyres are made of rubber compounded with other chemicals and materials.

compound

adjective uk   /ˈkɒm.paʊnd/ us    /ˈkɑːm-/
consisting of two or more parts specialized finance & economics used to refer to a system of paying interest in which interest is paid both on the original amount of money invested (= given to companies hoping to get more back) or borrowed and on the interest that has collected over a period of time: compound interest The investment fund has achieved annual compound returns of 18.2 percent.
Grammar
(Definition of compound from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of compound?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Connecting and combining, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “compound” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

maiden

a girl or young woman

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More