[ kuhn-juhngk-shuhn ]
/ kənˈdʒʌŋk ʃən /
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See synonyms for: conjunction / conjunctional on Thesaurus.com


OTHER WORDS FOR conjunction

2 joining, meeting, associating.
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Origin of conjunction

1350–1400; Middle English conjunccio(u)n (<Anglo-French ) <Latin conjunctiōn- (stem of conjunctiō). See conjunct, -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM conjunction

con·junc·tion·al, adjectivecon·junc·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·con·junc·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a conjunction?

A conjunction is a member of a group of words that we use to connect words, clauses, phrases, or sentences.

Conjunctions act as connectors in sentences. They link ideas together to form more complex sentences. In English, there are three main categories of conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions connect similar things together, such as nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, and adjectives with adjectives. And, but, and or are the three most commonly used coordinating conjunctions, as in I bought shoes and socks.

Subordinating conjunctions connect dependent (or subordinate) clauses to independent clauses. Dependent clauses are not complete sentences, so cannot be used alone. They need a conjunction to attach them to an independent clause. Because, after, when, and if are examples of subordinating conjunctions, as in If you are going outside, take your jacket with you.

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together to make a comparison or a contrast, such as eitheror, neithernor, and not onlybut also. Sometimes, only the first of the pair is used and the second is understood, as in These shirts are both ugly, so I am going to wear neither (this one nor that one).

Why is conjunction important?

The first records of the word conjunction come from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb conjungere, meaning to join together.

Conjunctions are used in many languages, including ancient languages like Latin.

English learners are often taught not to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions such as and or but because it can lead to incomplete sentences, especially with young students. However, this is merely a writing preference and you can create grammatical sentences that start with a coordinating conjunction, as in But to the surprise of my teacher, I passed the test easily.

Did you know … ?

A common mnemonic device used to remember the seven coordinating conjunctions is FANBOYS, which stands for for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

What are real-life examples of conjunctions?

This chart lists some of the most commonly used subordinating conjunctions:


Conjunctions are taught fairly early on in a student’s study of English.

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

Conjunctions act as connections between sentences.

How to use conjunction in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for conjunction

/ (kənˈdʒʌŋkʃən) /

the act of joining together; combination; union
simultaneous occurrence of events; coincidence
any word or group of words, other than a relative pronoun, that connects words, phrases, or clauses; for example and and whileAbbreviation: conj See also coordinating conjunction, subordinating conjunction
  1. the position of any two bodies that appear to meet, such as two celestial bodies on the celestial sphere
  2. Also called: solar conjunction the position of a planet or the moon when it is in line with the sun as seen from the earth. The inner planets are in inferior conjunction when the planet is between the earth and the sun and in superior conjunction when the sun lies between the earth and the planetCompare opposition (def. 8a)
astrology an exact aspect of 0° between two planets, etc, an orb of 8° being allowedSee opposition (def. 9), square (def. 10)
  1. the operator that forms a compound sentence from two given sentences, and corresponds to the English and
  2. a sentence so formed. Usually written p&q, p∧q, or p.q., where p,q are the component sentences, it is true only when both these are true
  3. the relation between such sentences

Derived forms of conjunction

conjunctional, adjectiveconjunctionally, adverb
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

Scientific definitions for conjunction

[ kən-jŭngkshən ]

The position of two celestial bodies when they have the same celestial longitude, especially a configuration in which a planet or the Moon lies on a straight line from Earth to or through the Sun. Planets in this position are not visible to the naked eye because they are in line with the Sun and obscured by its glare; the Moon in this position is new.♦ The inner planets Mercury and Venus have two conjunction points with Earth. Either planet is at inferior conjunction when it lies directly between the Earth and the Sun, and is at superior conjunction when it lies directly opposite Earth on the far side of the Sun. The outer planets have only one conjunction point with Earth, when they lie opposite Earth on the far side of the Sun. Compare opposition. See more at elongation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for conjunction


A word that joins words or groups of words. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and subordinating. Coordinating conjunctions include and, but, or, not, yet, for, and so. Correlative conjunctions include the words in the pairs either/or, both/and, and neither/nor. Subordinating conjunctions begin subordinate clauses (see subordination) and join them to the rest of the sentence: “She didn't learn the real reason until she left the valley.”

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.