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English definition of “compound”


noun [C] (COMBINATION)    /ˈkɒm.paʊnd/ US  /ˈkɑːm-/
specialized chemistry a chemical that combines two or more elements: Salt is a compound of sodium and chlorine. Many fertilizers contain nitrogen compounds.Types of chemicalSpecific chemicals, chemical compounds and gasesSubstances and structures in the body formal something consisting of two or more different parts: Then there was his manner, a curious compound of humour and severity.ComplexityDifficult to understand 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.Morphology and parts of words Grammar:CompoundsSee moreGrammar:Compound wordsA compound word is two or more words linked together to produce a word with a new meaning:See moreGrammar:Compound sentencesA compound sentence has two or more main clauses linked by coordinating conjunctions, such as and, but:See moreGrammar:Nouns: compound nounsSome nouns consist of more than one word. These are compound nouns. Compound nouns can be formed in different ways. The most common way is to put two nouns together (noun + noun); other common types are adjective + noun and verb + noun.See moreGrammar:Compound verbsCompound verbs are two words which combine to make one meaning. The first word is usually a noun, an adjective or a preposition, and the second word is a verb. The words are sometimes written as one word and sometimes joined by hyphens. A good learner’s dictionary will tell you how the compound is normally written:See moreGrammar:Word formationThere are four main kinds of word formation: prefixes, suffixes, conversion and compounds.See moreGrammar:PrefixesWe add prefixes before the base or stem of a word.See moreGrammar:SuffixesWe add suffixes after the base or stem of a word. The main purpose of a suffix is to show what class of word it is (e.g. noun or adjective).See moreGrammar:ConversionConversion involves the change of a word from one word class to another. For example, the verbs to email and to microwave are formed from the nouns email and microwave:See moreGrammar:CompoundingWhen we use compounding, we link together two or more bases to create a new word. Normally, the first item identifies a key feature of the second word. For example, the two bases back and ache can combine to form the compound noun backache, and the two bases post and card combine to form the compound noun postcard.See moreGrammar:AbbreviationAbbreviation involves shortening a word. We do this in three main ways: clipping, acronyms and blends.See moreGrammar:Back-formationWe form words with back-formation when we remove part of a word, usually something which we think is a suffix (or occasionally a prefix). We do this commonly when we form verbs from nouns.See more
(Definition of compound noun (COMBINATION) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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