Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “hyphen”


noun [C]     /ˈhaɪ.fən/
B2 the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next: There are hyphens in 'well-to-do'. → Compare dash nounPunctuation dash nounGrammar:HyphensHyphens are a form of dash (-) which we use between words or parts of words.See more
(Definition of hyphen noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of hyphen

Definitions of “hyphen” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More