hyphen

noun
hy·​phen | \ˈhī-fən \

Definition of hyphen 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a punctuation mark - used especially to divide or to compound words, word elements, or numbers

hyphen

verb
hyphened; hyphening; hyphens

Definition of hyphen (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from hyphen

Noun

hyphenless \ ˈhī-​fən-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of hyphen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Don’t spell Japanese-American with that hyphen, brother. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "SBOE debate highlights the cynical stigma of the hyphen," 16 June 2018 For Mexican Americans, the hyphen — as defined by Theodore Roosevelt and a century’s worth of like-minded American politicians — is always there. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "SBOE debate highlights the cynical stigma of the hyphen," 16 June 2018 The computer marked it as a naughty word and substituted it with three hyphens. CBS News, ""Summa Cum Laude" cake censored by Publix grocery store," 23 May 2018 The computer marked it as a naughty word and substituted three hyphens. NBC News, "Grocery sees dirty word in 'Summa Cum Laude,' censors cake," 23 May 2018 The search function does not allow hyphens, but Kalel is a name given to a couple hundred boys nationwide each year. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: Baby's super name Kal-El makes the top 1,000 list, and Melania is coming on strong," 22 May 2018 New to my keyboard, and still new-ish to the pages of the Globe, were words like cisgender (meaning not transgender) and bi-gender (which really needs a hyphen in print. Stephanie Ebbert, BostonGlobe.com, "Words you couldn’t say in The Boston Globe — until now," 17 Apr. 2018 In 2014 this group splintered from the CPN-M, which has a hyphen; both descend from the CPN (Maoist Centre), now a partner in Nepal’s coalition government. The Economist, "Nepalese nationalists force a Bollywood muscleman to retreat," 28 Mar. 2018 There aren’t enough hyphens in the English language to accurately connect all the money-making job titles that Diddy has occupied in his lifetime; his LinkedIn page would need its own Wikipedia page. GQ, "Diddy’s best friends tell us their best stories.," 21 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Normally, closed caption subtitling bleeps words in a variety of different ways: phrases, such as (bleep), [expletive], or [censored] may be used, though sometimes hyphens or asterisks are substituted instead (f–k, f---, or f*** are all examples. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "I Rely On Closed Captions to Enjoy a Show And I Don't Appreciate Netflix's Way of Censoring Them," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hyphen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hyphen

Noun

circa 1620, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1814, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hyphen

Noun

Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, from Greek, from hyph' hen under one, from hypo under + hen, neuter of heis one — more at up, same

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Statistics for hyphen

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Time Traveler for hyphen

The first known use of hyphen was circa 1620

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More Definitions for hyphen

hyphen

noun

English Language Learners Definition of hyphen

: a punctuation mark - that is used to connect words or parts of words

hyphen

noun
hy·​phen | \ˈhī-fən \

Kids Definition of hyphen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mark - used to divide or to connect words or word elements

hyphen

verb
hyphened; hyphening

Kids Definition of hyphen (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on hyphen

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