View synonyms for compound



[ adjective kom-pound, kom-pound; noun kom-pound; verb kuhm-pound, kom-pound ]


  1. composed of two or more parts, elements, or ingredients:

    Soap is a compound substance.

  2. having or involving two or more actions or functions:

    The mouth is a compound organ.

  3. Grammar. of or relating to a compound sentence or compound-complex sentence.
  4. (of a word)
    1. consisting of two or more parts that are also bases, forming a compound noun, compound adjective, compound verb, or compound preposition, as housetop, many-sided, playact, or upon.
    2. consisting of any two or more parts that have identifiable meaning, as a base and a noninflectional affix ( return, follower ), a base and a combining form ( biochemistry ), two combining forms ( ethnography ), or a combining form and a noninflectional affix ( aviary, dentoid ).
  5. (of a verb tense) consisting of an auxiliary verb and a main verb, as are swimming, have spoken, or will write ( simple ).
  6. Botany. composed of several similar parts that combine to form a whole:

    a compound fruit.

  7. Zoology. composed of a number of distinct individuals that are connected to form a united whole or colony, as coral.
  8. Music. of or relating to compound time.
  9. Machinery. noting an engine or turbine expanding the same steam or the like in two successive chambers to do work at two ranges of pressure.


  1. something formed by compounding or combining parts, elements, etc.
  2. Chemistry. a pure substance composed of two or more elements whose composition is constant.
  3. a compound word, especially one composed of two or more words that are otherwise unaltered, as moonflower or rainstorm.

verb (used with object)

  1. to put together into a whole; combine:

    to compound drugs to form a new medicine.

  2. to make or form by combining parts, elements, etc.; construct:

    to compound a new plan from parts of several former plans.

  3. to make up or constitute:

    all the organs and members that compound a human body.

  4. to settle or adjust by agreement, especially for a reduced amount, as a debt.
  5. Law. to agree, for a consideration, not to prosecute or punish a wrongdoer for:

    to compound a crime or felony.

  6. to pay (interest) on the accrued interest as well as the principal:

    My bank compounds interest quarterly.

  7. to increase or add to:

    The misery of his loneliness was now compounded by his poverty.

  8. Electricity. to connect a portion of the field turns of (a direct-current dynamo) in series with the armature circuit.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make a bargain; come to terms; compromise.
  2. to settle a debt, claim, etc., by compromise.
  3. to form a compound.



[ kom-pound ]


  1. an enclosure, especially one for prisoners.
  2. an enclosed or protected area where a group of people live or work, such as a military base.
  3. any separate cluster of homes, often owned by members of the same family.




  1. a substance that contains atoms of two or more chemical elements held together by chemical bonds
  2. any combination of two or more parts, aspects, etc
  3. a word formed from two existing words or combining forms


  1. to mix or combine so as to create a compound or other product
  2. to make by combining parts, elements, aspects, etc

    to compound a new plastic

  3. to intensify by an added element

    his anxiety was compounded by her crying

  4. finance to calculate or pay (interest) on both the principal and its accrued interest
  5. also intr to come to an agreement in (a quarrel, dispute, etc)
  6. also intr to settle (a debt, promise, etc) for less than what is owed; compromise
  7. law to agree not to prosecute in return for a consideration

    to compound a crime

  8. electrical engineering to place duplex windings on the field coil of (a motor or generator), one acting as a shunt, the other being in series with the main circuit, thus making the machine self-regulating


  1. composed of or created by the combination of two or more parts, elements, etc
  2. (of a word) consisting of elements that are also words or productive combining forms
  3. (of a sentence) formed by coordination of two or more sentences
  4. (of a verb or the tense, mood, etc, of a verb) formed by using an auxiliary verb in addition to the main verb

    the future in English is a compound tense involving the use of such auxiliary verbs as ``shall'' and ``will''

  5. music
    1. denoting a time in which the number of beats per bar is a multiple of three

      six-four is an example of compound time

    2. (of an interval) greater than an octave
  6. zoology another word for colonial
  7. (of a steam engine, turbine, etc) having multiple stages in which the steam or working fluid from one stage is used in a subsequent stage
  8. (of a piston engine) having a turbocharger powered by a turbine in the exhaust stream



/ ˈkɒmpaʊnd /


  1. (esp formerly in South Africa) an enclosure, esp on the mines, containing the living quarters for Black workers
  2. any similar enclosure, such as a camp for prisoners of war
  3. (formerly in India, China, etc) the enclosure in which a European's house or factory stood


/ kŏmpound′ /

  1. A substance consisting of atoms or ions of two or more different elements in definite proportions joined by chemical bonds into a molecule. The elements cannot be separated by physical means. Water, for example, is a compound having two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom per molecule.


  1. Composed of more than one part, as a compound eye or leaf.


  1. In chemistry , a substance containing two or more elements in definite proportions.

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Derived Forms

  • comˈpounder, noun
  • comˈpoundable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • com·pounda·ble adjective
  • com·pounded·ness noun
  • com·pounder noun
  • noncom·pounda·ble adjective
  • uncom·pounda·ble adjective
  • uncom·pounded adjective
  • uncom·pounding adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of compound1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English verb componen, compounen, compownen, from Old French compon- (stem of compondre ), from Latin compōnere, equivalent to com- com- + pōnere “to put”; Middle English adjective compouned, past participle of componen, as above

Origin of compound2

First recorded in 1670–80; alteration, by association with compound 1, of Malay kampung “village, collection, gathering”; kampong

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Word History and Origins

Origin of compound1

C14: from earlier compounen, from Old French compondre to collect, set in order, from Latin compōnere

Origin of compound2

C17: by folk etymology (influenced by compound 1) from Malay kampong village

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Example Sentences

With Covid-19 compounding the health threat of wildfire smoke, this year’s fires are putting an unprecedented strain on communities.

From Vox

This could release compounds that might move through the air — right to someone’s nose.

A leucine-rich diet may increase your risk of obesity or type 2 diabetes, in theory because the compound sends your body a “time to grow!”

At Towson University in Maryland, chemist Shannon Stitzel is tracing cocoa to its roots using organic compounds, which are mostly produced by the cocoa plant itself.

Local media reports that Beijing initiated the idea of universal testing, rather than Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, have compounded those concerns.

From Fortune

He scrambled outside to find a 25-foot-wide crater just beyond the mud wall surrounding his family compound.

Less than 30 minutes after the firefight started, commandos entered the compound and found the mortally wounded hostages.

They say that the Israelis framed him in order to light the powder keg of religious war over the al-Aqsa compound.

The Holy City, specifically the al-Aqsa compound, has been the flashpoint for the latest round of conflict.

Now the lead breacher explained how he cut through the steel doors bin Laden used to seal himself into the compound at night.

He, with others, thinking the miss-sahib had gone to church, was smoking the hookah of gossip in a neighboring compound.

They held the compound against repeated assaults, and lost several men in hand-to-hand fighting.

Passing a bungalow that was blazing furiously, he saw in the compound the corpses of two women.

The body of a young woman was found in the compound outside my bungalow, done to death in precisely the same way.

The compound was washed on the fifth of May, and a grain of gold weighing one and one-half reals was obtained.





compotiercompound annual return