Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

compound

play
verb com·pound \käm-ˈpau̇nd, kəm-ˈ, ˈkäm-ˌ\

Simple Definition of compound

  • : to make (something, such as an error or problem) worse : to add to (something bad)

  • finance : to pay interest on both an amount of money and the interest it has already earned

  • : to form (something) by combining separate things

Full Definition of compound

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to put together (parts) so as to form a whole :  combine <compound ingredients>

  3. 2 :  to form by combining parts <compound a medicine>

  4. 3 a :  to settle amicably :  adjust by agreement b :  to agree for a consideration not to prosecute (an offense) <compound a felony>

  5. 4 a :  to pay (interest) on both the accrued interest and the principal b :  to add to :  augment <we compounded our error in later policy — Robert Lekachman>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to become joined in a compound

  8. 2 :  to come to terms of agreement

com·pound·able play \-ˈpau̇n-də-bəl, -ˌpau̇n-\ adjective
com·pound·er noun

Examples of compound

  1. The interest is compounded at regular intervals.

  2. <we compounded our error by waiting too long to call for help>



Origin of compound

Middle English compounen, from Anglo-French *cumpundre, from Latin componere, from com- + ponere to put — more at position


First Known Use: 14th century


2

compound

play
adjective com·pound \ˈkäm-ˌpau̇nd, käm-ˈ, kəm-ˈ\

Simple Definition of compound

  • : made up of two or more parts

  • : made by combining two or more words

  • : consisting of two or more main clauses

Full Definition of compound

  1. 1 :  composed of or resulting from union of separate elements, ingredients, or parts: as a :  composed of united similar elements especially of a kind usually independent <a compound plant ovary> b :  having the blade divided to the midrib and forming two or more leaflets on a common axis <a compound leaf>

  2. 2 :  involving or used in a combination

  3. 3 a of a word :  constituting a compound b of a sentence :  having two or more main clauses

Examples of compound

  1. Steamboat is a compound noun.

  2. I told him to leave and he left is a compound sentence.



Origin of compound

Middle English compouned, past participle of compounen


First Known Use: 14th century


3

compound

play
noun com·pound \ˈkäm-ˌpau̇nd\

Definition of compound

  1. 1 a :  a word consisting of components that are words (as rowboat, high school, devil-may-care) b :  a word (as anthropology, kilocycle, builder) consisting of any of various combinations of words, combining forms, or affixes

  2. 2 :  something formed by a union of elements or parts; especially :  a distinct substance formed by chemical union of two or more ingredients in definite proportion by weight



1530

First Known Use of compound

1530

Other Chemical Engineering Terms


4

compound

play
noun com·pound \ˈkäm-ˌpau̇nd\

Definition of compound

  1. :  a fenced or walled-in area containing a group of buildings and especially residences



Origin of compound

by folk etymology from Malay kampung group of buildings, village


First Known Use: 1679




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up compound? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ