(of a construction or compound) having the same syntactic function in the sentence as one of its immediate constituents. Cold water is an endocentric construction, since it functions as would the noun water. Greenhouse is an endocentric compound, since it is a noun as is its head house.
Origin of endocentric
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grammar (of a construction) fulfilling the grammatical role of one of its constituents; as in three blind mice, where the whole noun phrase fulfils the same role as its head noun miceCompare exocentric
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