Origin of compound

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English compounen < Middle French compon- (stem of compondre) < Latin compōnere, equivalent to com- com- + pōnere to put; (adj.) Middle English compouned, past participle of compounen, as above
Related formscom·pound·a·ble, adjectivecom·pound·ed·ness, nouncom·pound·er, nounnon·com·pound·a·ble, adjectiveun·com·pound·a·ble, adjectiveun·com·pound·ed, adjectiveun·com·pound·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compounding

Contemporary Examples of compounding

Historical Examples of compounding

  • It was compounding a felony, but my client was satisfied and Roger was grateful.

    'Charge It'

    Irving Bacheller

  • "And art a rare hand at compounding it," replied Mary admiringly.

    Standish of Standish

    Jane G. Austin

  • We are still further from compounding protoplasm chemically.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • In compounding face creams one cannot be too careful and painstaking.

    The Woman Beautiful

    Helen Follett Stevans

  • Yet, so far as he knew, he might be compounding a felony; but that knowledge did not trouble him in the least.

British Dictionary definitions for compounding



noun (ˈkɒmpaʊnd)

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

verb (kəmˈpaʊnd) (mainly tr)

to mix or combine so as to create a compound or other product
to make by combining parts, elements, aspects, etcto compound a new plastic
to intensify by an added elementhis anxiety was compounded by her crying
finance to calculate or pay (interest) on both the principal and its accrued interest
(also intr) to come to an agreement in (a quarrel, dispute, etc)
(also intr) to settle (a debt, promise, etc) for less than what is owed; compromise
law to agree not to prosecute in return for a considerationto compound a crime
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

adjective (ˈkɒmpaʊnd)

composed of or created by the combination of two or more parts, elements, etc
(of a word) consisting of elements that are also words or productive combining forms
(of a sentence) formed by coordination of two or more sentences
(of a verb or the tense, mood, etc, of a verb) formed by using an auxiliary verb in addition to the main verbthe future in English is a compound tense involving the use of such auxiliary verbs as `` shall '' and `` will ''
  1. denoting a time in which the number of beats per bar is a multiple of threesix-four is an example of compound time
  2. (of an interval) greater than an octave
zoology another word for colonial (def. 6)
(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
(of a piston engine) having a turbocharger powered by a turbine in the exhaust stream
Derived Formscompoundable, adjectivecompounder, noun

Word Origin for compound

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




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

Word Origin for compound

C17: by folk etymology (influenced by compound 1) from Malay kampong village
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for compounding



"to put together," late 14c., compounen "to mix, combine," from Old French compondre, componre "arrange, direct," from Latin componere "to put together" (see composite). The -d appeared 1500s in English on model of expound, etc. Related: Compounded; compounding.



1670s, via Dutch (kampoeng) or Portuguese, from Malay kampong "village, group of buildings." Spelling influenced by compound (v.). Originally, "the enclosure for a factory or settlement of Europeans in the East," later used of South African diamond miners' camps (1893), then of large fenced-in spaces generally (1946).



late 14c., originally compouned, past participle of compounen (see compound (v.)). Compound eye is attested from 1836; compound sentence is from 1772.



"a compound thing," mid-15c., from compound (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

compounding in Medicine




A combination of two or more elements or parts.
A pure, macroscopically homogeneous substance that consists of atoms or ions of different elements in definite proportions that cannot be separated by physical means, and that have properties unlike those of its constituent elements.


Consisting of two or more substances, ingredients, elements, or parts.


To combine so as to form a whole; mix.
To produce or create by combining two or more ingredients or parts.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

compounding in Science



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.


Composed of more than one part, as a compound eye or leaf.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

compounding in Culture


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

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.