There are 2 main definitions of compound in English:

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compound 1

Line breaks: com|pound


Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmpaʊnd/
1A thing that is composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture: the air smelled like a compound of diesel and petrol fumes
More example sentences
  • Now the sophistication of the device has authorities pretty rattled, especially as a unique mixture of explosive compounds was involved.
  • Also, the relative amounts of the different compounds of the mixture tend to be more even, which is reflected in lower dominance values.
  • If the different compounds of a mixture act synergistically, greater toxicity or deterrence may result.
amalgam, amalgamation, combination, composite, blend, mixture, mix, admixture, meld, fusion, synthesis, consolidation;
informal mash-up
1.1 (also chemical compound) A substance formed from two or more elements chemically united in fixed proportions: a compound of hydrogen and oxygen lead compounds
More example sentences
  • The layers of plants and animals slowly broke down into simple substances called hydrocarbons, compounds of hydrogen and carbon.
  • These substances are compounds because the molecules that make it up have two kinds of atoms.
  • Exhaust gases include harmful volatile organic compounds or hydrocarbons, chemicals such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.
1.2A word made up of two or more existing words.
Example sentences
  • The orthography was developed by Nance from the surviving texts, and vocabulary is extended by analogizing from Breton and Welsh and forming compounds from existing words.
  • Lexicalisation doesn't have to involve making up a new word, it could be a compound, or an existing word could be broadened.
  • Terms like megastore or hypertext are also called compounds, because they are combinations of free-standing words with prefixes or suffixes.


Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmpaʊnd/
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1Made up or consisting of several parts or elements: a compound noun
More example sentences
  • The new company about to be born will have a compound name.
  • When you have two different elements, there are usually only two words in the compound name.
  • He did so by combining two complex ideas - or at least two abstract compound nouns - in a new way.
composite, complex;
blended, fused, synthesized, compounded, combined
1.1(Of interest) payable on both capital and the accumulated interest: compound interest Compare with simple.
More example sentences
  • Under private accounts, saving at younger ages counts more than saving at older ages because early savings have more years to accumulate compound interest.
  • The bank rate, which garners much attention as an indicator of the health and direction of the economy, is a compound interest rate.
  • Taxpayers, however, run into problems because of the city's high compound interest rate applied to unpaid amounts - a steep 18 per cent a year.
1.2 Biology (Especially of a leaf, flower, or eye) consisting of two or more simple parts or individuals in combination.
Example sentences
  • These specialized plants generally have spike-like compound inflorescences, comprised of paired cymules of tiny flowers that are sessile within succulent free or fused bracts.
  • The buckwheat inflorescence is a compound raceme that produces laterally flowered cymose clusters, the number of which was affected by the position of the inflorescence along the main stem.
  • The female reproductive structures of flowers are the carpels, which are either free, or are fused to form a compound ovary.


Pronunciation: /kəmˈpaʊnd/
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1Make up (a composite whole); constitute: a dialect compounded of Spanish and Dutch
More example sentences
  • The horrifying scene was compounded of darkness, silhouettes of mountains, and beyond the mountains, a red glow which rose to the sky, from remote fires.
  • That illusion, like the touching belief that one party is always better than the other, is compounded of near-equal parts naiveté and cynicism.
  • The renouncers' attitude was compounded of dark bitterness and bright hope.
be composed of, be made up of, be constituted of, be formed from
1.1Mix or combine (ingredients or constituents): the groundnuts were compounded into cattle food
More example sentences
  • The pharmacist then compounds the necessary ingredients and dispenses the medication to the patient.
  • We compound various strengths and combinations of thyroid hormone.
  • When we compound prescriptions, we mix ingredients specific to each patient's needs.
mix, combine, blend, put together, amalgamate, alloy, fuse, synthesize, coalesce, mingle, meld, intermingle
rare admix, commix, commingle
1.2Reckon (interest) on previously accumulated interest: the yield at which the interest is compounded
More example sentences
  • The AER shows what the notional interest rate would be if the interest was compounded and paid once a year.
  • Interest on these bonds is accumulated monthly and compounded every six months.
  • While I'm puttering around playing with words, other people are investing and accumulating and feathering their nests and compounding their interest.
2Make (something bad) worse; intensify the negative aspects of: prisoners' lack of contact with the outside world compounds their problems
More example sentences
  • Major problems in agriculture and structural difficulties in the eurozone compounded the negative effects from slower global trade.
  • Little or no analysis is done and poor planning is compounded by even worse implementation strategies.
  • The paper also points out that individual land uses often interact synergistically, compounding their negative effect on habitats and birds.
aggravate, worsen, make worse, add to, augment, exacerbate, intensify, heighten, increase, magnify;
add insult to injury, rub salt in the wound, add fuel to the fire/flames;
3 Law Forbear from prosecuting (a felony) in exchange for money or other consideration.
Example sentences
  • Since the effect of compounding an offence is that of acquittal, the perpetrators would also know that they cannot be tried again for the same offence.
3.1Settle (a debt or other matter) in exchange for money or other consideration: he compounded the case with the defendant for a cash payment


Pronunciation: /kəmˈpaʊndəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • In all probability, and in most cases - assuming the offence were to be made compoundable - the husband and the woman's in-laws would offer reconciliation so that the woman withdraws the case.
  • As per the provisions of the law, this is not a compoundable offence and amounts to attempt to murder.
  • Only the compoundable violations could be regularized.


Late Middle English compoune (verb), from Old French compoun-, present tense stem of compondre, from Latin componere 'put together'. The final -d was added in the 16th century on the pattern of expound and propound. sense 2 of the verb arose through a misinterpretation of the legal phrase compound a felony, which means ‘refrain from prosecuting a felony in exchange for money or other consideration’. This led to the use of compound in legal contexts to mean ‘make something bad worse’, which then became accepted in general usage.

Words that rhyme with compound

abound, aground, around, astound, bound, confound, dumbfound, expound, found, ground, hound, impound, interwound, mound, pound, profound, propound, redound, round, sound, stoneground, surround, theatre-in-the-round (US theater-in-the-round), underground, wound
Definition of compound in:
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There are 2 main definitions of compound in English:

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compound 2 Line breaks: com|pound
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒmpaʊnd/


1An open area enclosed by a fence, for example around a factory or large house or within a prison.
Example sentences
  • The villages are rather compact, consisting of groups of compounds enclosed by millet-stalk fences.
  • Within an enclosed compound, you discover a pristine, high-ceilinged exhibition space that occupies a renovated factory building.
  • Sensitive areas within compounds have also been given extra protection while electronic scanning of staff, visitors and vehicles entering sites has been stepped up.
1.1South African An area containing single-sex living quarters for migrant workers, especially miners.
Example sentences
  • Both diamond and gold mines housed black workers in single-sex compounds, issuing contracts of limited duration.
  • The NUM is claiming more housing allowance for workers who don't live at the mine compound and better living conditions for those that do.
  • In the 1910s and 1920s, most of the 200,000 African men employed in gold-mining lived in vast single-sex compounds.
1.2 another term for pound3.


Late 17th century (referring to such an area in SE Asia): from Portuguese campon or Dutch kampoeng, from Malay kampong 'enclosure, hamlet'; compare with kampong.

Definition of compound in:
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