a short line (-) used to connect the parts of a compound word or the parts of a word divided for any purpose.
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- hy·phen·ic [hahy-fen-ik], /haɪˈfɛn ɪk/, adjective
- de·hy·phen, verb (used with object)
- un·hy·phened, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hyphen in a sentence
In the case of ecommerce, since you’ll probably have a series of photos for each product, give the image files titles that reflect the product, with words separated by hyphens.
When you talk about Debbie Allen, you need to realize that hyphens will not get you anywhere close to wrapping your head around what she has accomplished.
It’s become common enough since it was first recorded in the 1910s that we write it out as a single—one word, not two, without a hyphen.
A hyphen is part of the common spelling: daylight-saving time.
He belonged to the branch of the family that owns the hyphen and most of the money.From Place to Place | Irvin S. Cobb
If the capital-letter be retained where a prefix is put to a proper name, the hyphen is obviously necessary."Stops" | Paul Allardyce
The hyphen distinguishes the etymological meaning of these words as distinguished from their derived and ordinary meaning."Stops" | Paul Allardyce
When the combination is likely to be misunderstood, modern editors generally put a hyphen between the two words.Ephemera Critica | John Churton Collins
Taken out hyphen for 'woman-kind', majority are 'womankind'.Dryden's Works Vol. 3 (of 18) | John Dryden
British Dictionary definitions for hyphen
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
(tr) another word for hyphenate
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 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.