hyphen

[ hahy-fuh n ]
/ ˈhaɪ fən /

noun

a short line (-) used to connect the parts of a compound word or the parts of a word divided for any purpose.

verb (used with object)

QUIZZES

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PUNCTUATION QUIZ

Punctuation marks help make writing easy to read and understand. Some of the most important ones are the period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), and exclamation point (!). How well do you know how to use them? Find out in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
Which punctuation mark is best for this sentence? "Can I watch a movie __"

Origin of hyphen

1595–1605; < Late Latin < Greek hyphén (adv.) together, derivative of hyph' hén (prepositional phrase), equivalent to hyp(ó) under (see hypo-) + hén, neuter of heîs one

OTHER WORDS FROM hyphen

hy·phen·ic [hahy-fen-ik] /haɪˈfɛn ɪk/, adjectivede·hy·phen, verb (used with object)un·hy·phened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for de-hyphen

hyphen
/ (ˈhaɪfən) /

noun

the punctuation mark (-), used to separate the parts of some compound words, to link the words of a phrase, and between syllables of a word split between two consecutive lines of writing or printing

verb

(tr) another word for hyphenate

Word Origin for hyphen

C17: from Late Latin (meaning: the combining of two words), from Greek huphen (adv) together, from hypo- + heis one
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

Cultural definitions for de-hyphen

hyphen

A punctuation mark (-) used in some compound words, such as self-motivation, seventy-five, and mother-in-law. A hyphen is also used to divide a word at the end of a line of type. Hyphens may appear only between syllables. Thus com-pound is properly hyphenated, but compo-und is not.

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.