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hyphen

Line breaks: hy¦phen
Pronunciation: /ˈhʌɪf(ə)n
 
/

Definition of hyphen in English:

noun

The sign (-) used to join words to indicate that they have a combined meaning or that they are linked in the grammar of a sentence (as in a pick-me-up, rock-forming minerals), to indicate the division of a word at the end of a line, or to indicate a missing element (as in short- and long-term).
Example sentences
  • The only quibble I have with the grammar of that prose is the use of a hyphen followed by a semi-colon in the final sentence.
  • For those who care: in one of last week's postings, I had linked loads and loads of words together with hyphens instead of spaces.
  • Outside the University in Mumbai is the greeting ‘wel-come’, with the two elements separated by a hyphen.

Origin

early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek huphen 'together', from hupo 'under' + hen 'one'.

More
  • This word came into English via late Latin from Greek huphen ‘together’.

Usage

In modern English the use of hyphens is in general decreasing, especially in compound nouns: website is preferred to web-site, and air raid to air-raid. Hyphens are still often employed where a compound expression precedes a noun, as in first-rate musicians or twenty-odd people (twenty odd people means something quite different!), but even in this context there is a growing trend to omit them. When a phrasal verb such as build up is made into a noun it is usually hyphenated (a build-up of pressure). Note, however, that a normal phrasal verb should not be hyphenated: write food to take away not food to take-away, and continue to build up your pension not continue to build-up your pension.

Words that rhyme with hyphen

siphon

Definition of hyphen in:

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Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
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