What does compound mean?

Definitions for compound
ˈkɒm paʊnd, kɒmˈpaʊnd; ˈkɒm paʊnd; kəmˈpaʊnd, ˈkɒm paʊndcom·pound

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word compound.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. compoundnoun

    a whole formed by a union of two or more elements or parts

  2. compound, chemical compoundnoun

    (chemistry) a substance formed by chemical union of two or more elements or ingredients in definite proportion by weight

  3. compoundadjective

    an enclosure of residences and other building (especially in the Orient)

  4. compoundadjective

    composed of more than one part

    "compound leaves are composed of several lobes; "compound flower heads"

  5. compoundadjective

    consisting of two or more substances or ingredients or elements or parts

    "soap is a compound substance"; "housetop is a compound word"; "a blackberry is a compound fruit"

  6. colonial, compoundverb

    composed of many distinct individuals united to form a whole or colony

    "coral is a colonial organism"

  7. intensify, compound, heighten, deepenverb

    make more intense, stronger, or more marked

    "The efforts were intensified", "Her rudeness intensified his dislike for her"; "Pot smokers claim it heightens their awareness"; "This event only deepened my convictions"

  8. compound, combineverb

    put or add together

    "combine resources"

  9. compoundverb

    calculate principal and interest

  10. compoundverb

    create by mixing or combining

  11. compound, combineverb

    combine so as to form a whole; mix

    "compound the ingredients"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Compoundadjective

    Etymology: from the verb.

    The ancient electrum had in it a fifth of silver to the gold, and made a compound metal, as fit for most uses as gold. Francis Bacon.

    Compound substances are made up of two or more simple substances. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    Those who are his greatest admirers, seem pleased with them as beauties; I speak of his compound epithets. Alexander Pope.

  2. Compoundnoun

    The mass formed by the union of many ingredients.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    For present use or profit, this is the rule: consider the price of the two simple bodies; consider again the dignity of the one above the other in use; then see if you can make a compound, that will save more in price than it will lose in dignity of the use. Francis Bacon, Physical Rem.

    As man is a compound and mixture of flesh, as well as spirit. Robert South, Sermons.

    Love, why do we one passion call?
    When ’tis a compound of them all;
    Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet,
    In all their equipages meet. Jonathan Swift.

  3. To COMPOUNDverb

    Etymology: compono, Latin.

    Whosoever compoundeth any like it, shall be cut off. Ex. xxx.

    It will be difficult to evince, that nature does not make decompounded bodies; I mean, mingle together such bodies as are already compounded of elementary, or rather of simple ones. Robert Boyle, Sceptical Chymist.

    The ideas, being each but one single perception, are easier got than the more complex ones; and therefore are not liable to the uncertainty, which attends those compounded ones. John Locke.

    We cannot have a single image that did not enter through the sight; but we have the power of altering and compounding those images into all the varieties of picture. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    Where it and Tigris embrace each other under the city of Apamia, there do they agree of a joint and compounded name, and are called Piso-Tigris. Walter Raleigh, History of the World.

    Who’d be so mock’d with glory, as to live
    But in a dream of friendship?
    To have his pomp, and all what state compounds,
    But only painted, like his varnish’d friends! William Shakespeare, Timon.

    I would to God all strifes were well compounded. William Shakespeare.

    If there be any discord or suits between any of the family, they are compounded and appeased. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis.

    Shall I, ye gods, he cries, my debts compound? John Gay.

  4. To Compoundverb

    They were, at last, glad to compound for his bare commitment to the Tower. Edward Hyde.

    Pray but for half the virtues of this wife;
    Compound for all the rest, with longer life. Dryden.

    Here’s a fellow will help you to-morrow: compound with him by the year. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Cornwal compounded to furnish ten oxen after Michaelmas for thirty pounds. Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwal.

    Once more I come to know of thee, king Harry,
    If for thy ransom thou wilt now compound,
    Before thy most assured overthrow? William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    Made all the royal stars recant,
    Compound and take the covenant. Hudibras, p. ii. cant. 3.

    But useless all, when he, despairing, found
    Catullus then did with the winds compound. John Dryden, Juvenal.

    Paracelsus and his admirers have compounded with the Galenists, and brought a mixed use of chymical medicines into the present practice. William Temple.

    We here deliver,
    Subscribed by the consuls and patricians,
    Together with the seal of the senate, what
    We have compounded on. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.


  1. compound

    A compound is a substance that is formed from two or more elements chemically bonded together in a fixed ratio by weight. Typically, the properties of the compound are distinct from those of the individual elements that compose it. This term is used in chemistry and can be naturally occurring or synthesized in laboratories.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compoundnoun

    in the East Indies, an inclosure containing a house, outbuildings, etc

  2. Compoundverb

    to form or make by combining different elements, ingredients, or parts; as, to compound a medicine

  3. Compoundverb

    to put together, as elements, ingredients, or parts, in order to form a whole; to combine, mix, or unite

  4. Compoundverb

    to modify or change by combination with some other thing or part; to mingle with something else

  5. Compoundverb

    to compose; to constitute

  6. Compoundverb

    to settle amicably; to adjust by agreement; to compromise; to discharge from obligation upon terms different from those which were stipulated; as, to compound a debt

  7. Compoundverb

    to effect a composition; to come to terms of agreement; to agree; to settle by a compromise; -- usually followed by with before the person participating, and for before the thing compounded or the consideration

  8. Compoundverb

    composed of two or more elements, ingredients, parts; produced by the union of several ingredients, parts, or things; composite; as, a compound word

  9. Compoundnoun

    that which is compounded or formed by the union or mixture of elements ingredients, or parts; a combination of simples; a compound word; the result of composition

  10. Compoundnoun

    a union of two or more ingredients in definite proportions by weight, so combined as to form a distinct substance; as, water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen

  11. Etymology: [OE. compouned, p. p. of compounen. See Compound, v. t.]


  1. Compound

    In linguistics, a compound is a lexeme that consists of more than one stem. Compounding or composition is the process of word formation that creates compound lexemes. That is, in familiar terms, compounding occurs when two or more words are joined together to make them one word. The meaning of the compound may be very different from the meanings of its components in isolation.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Compound

    kom-pownd′, v.t. to mix or combine: to settle or adjust by agreement.—v.i. to agree, or come to terms: to bargain in the lump.—adj. Com′pound, mixed or composed of a number of parts: not simple, dealing with numbers of various denominations of quantity, &c., as in 'compound addition,' &c.; or with processes more complex than the simple process, as in 'compound proportion,' &c.—n. a mass made up of a number of parts: the usual name in India for the enclosure in which a house stands, with its outhouses, yard, and garden: a compounded drug.—n. Compound′er.—Compound engine, a condensing engine in which the mechanical action of the steam is begun in one cylinder, and ended in a larger cylinder; Compound fracture, a broken bone, communicating with a co-existing skin wound; Compound householder, one who pays his rates in his rent, the landlord being immediately chargeable with them; Compound interest, the charge made where—the interest not being paid when due—it is added to the principal, forming the amount upon which the subsequent year's interest is computed; Compound quantity (alg.), a quantity consisting of more than one term, as a + b; Compound time (mus.), time in which each bar is made up of two or more simple bars. [O. Fr., from L. componĕrecom, together, ponĕre, to place.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. compound

    A term used in India for a lawn garden, or inclosed ground round a house.


  1. Compound

    made up of many similar or dissimilar parts.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'compound' in Nouns Frequency: #1829

How to pronounce compound?

How to say compound in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of compound in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of compound in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of compound in a Sentence

  1. The White House:

    No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy, the operation targeted an al-Qa'ida-associated compound, where we had no reason to believe either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  2. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond:

    This embassy and this special compound is a very special place: Since Britain acquired it in 1869, it has witnessed great moments both in the history of Iran and of Britain.

  3. Athol:

    We compound our suffering by victimizing each other.

  4. Lisa Damour:

    Once kids are in compounds, they’re happy and won’t risk destabilizing that compound.

  5. Omar Zwak:

    The previous compound was surrounded by civilian homes and civilians could be harmed during Taliban attacks.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for compound

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مركبArabic
  • съедине́ние, споразумявам се, оградено мя́сто, съчета́ние, събирам се, добавям, съединявам, сло́жен, съставен, смесвамBulgarian
  • sloučenina, složenýCzech
  • sammensatteDanish
  • Mischung, chemische Verbindung, VerbindungGerman
  • περίβολος, μίγμα, παρασκευάζω, κράμα, συμμιγής, σύνθετος, ενώνομαι, συνθέτω, συγκρότημα, ένωση, μιγνύω, συμβιβάζω, αναμιγνύω, προσθέτω, συμφωνώ, χημική ένωσηGreek
  • kunmetaĵoEsperanto
  • complejo, compuesto, compuesto químicoSpanish
  • kompleksEstonian
  • مرکب, آمیختن, همساخته, آمیخته, ترکیبPersian
  • laitos, yhdistelmä, yhdistyä, lisätä, seos, liittää, yhdiste, yhdistää, kemiallinen yhdiste, liittyäFinnish
  • composé, complexe, composer, composé chimiqueFrench
  • covroojidManx
  • לשלב, תרכובתHebrew
  • यौगिकHindi
  • vegyülék, elegy, fogolytábor, keverékHungarian
  • senyawaIndonesian
  • composto, mettersi d'accordo, comporre, composto chimico, mettere insieme, campo di prigionìa, costituito, unirsi, amalgama, miscuglio, accordarsi, aggiungereItalian
  • מתחםHebrew
  • 化合物Japanese
  • 화합물Korean
  • compositumLatin
  • pūhuiMāori
  • verbinding, samengesteld, complex, samenstellingDutch
  • sammensatteNorwegian
  • złożonyPolish
  • compor, composto, complexo, composto químico, cercadoPortuguese
  • compus chimic, compusRomanian
  • собира́ться, сме́шивать, компа́унд, сочета́ние, собра́ться, [[огороженный, соедине́ние, добавля́ть, ко́мплекс, сло́жный, составно́й, соединя́ть, объединя́ть, соединениеRussian
  • logor, kémījskī spȏj, kompleks, taborSerbo-Croatian
  • sestaviti, sestavljen, spojinaSlovene
  • sätta, kompromissa, inhägnad, sammansättning, förvärra, blanda, försvåra, förlikning, läger, blandning, göra upp, sammansatt, avtal, gård, förening, förlika, bilägga, överenskommelse, sammansatt ämne, fSwedish
  • கலவைTamil
  • สารประกอบThai
  • karışım, bileşim, bileşikTurkish
  • compoundUkrainian
  • کمپاؤنڈUrdu
  • hợp chất, phức tạpVietnamese
  • קאַמפּאַונדYiddish
  • 複合Chinese

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"compound." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/compound>.

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    a blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically
    • A. anil
    • B. tingle
    • C. recital
    • D. snap

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