Compound Words Examples

Compound words are, for the most part, Nouns, Adjectives and Verbs.

Compound Nouns may be formed from:

  • Noun + Noun; as,

Moonlight, oil-lamp, ear-ring, armchair, postman, railway, air hostess, door-step, sign-post, trap-door, lion-tamer, ring-leader, moneylender, man-servant, fire-escape, tax-payer, shoemaker, haystack, windmill, teaspoon, newspaper.

  • Adjective + Noun; as,

Madman, stronghold, nobleman, sweetheart, shorthand, blackbird, quicksilver.

  • Verb + Noun; as,

Tell-tale, pick-pocket, cut-throat, stop-gap, make-shift, spendthrift, breakfast, daredevil, passport.

  • Gerund + Noun; as,

Drawing-room, looking-glass, walking-stick, a laughing-stock, skipping- rope, stepping-stone, blotting-paper.

  • Adverb + Noun; as,

Overcoat, an afterthought, postscript, undertone, foresight, downfall, overload, out-patient, overdose, upland, offshoot.

Compound Words Examples 1

  • Adverb + Verb; as,

Income, output, intake, offspring, outbreak, outlook, outfit, upstart, outburst, outlet, out-cast, outcome, upkeep, outset, outcry.

  • Verb + Adverb; as,

The drawback, send-off, go-between, look-up, die-hard, breakdown, run­away, farewell, standstill, walk-over.

Compound Adjective may be formed from:

  • Noun + Adjective (or Participle); as,

Home-sick, weather-beaten, hen-pecked, moth-eaten, head-strong, world-wide, life-long, high-brow, knee-deep, purse-proud, snow-white, blood-red, pitch-dark, skin-deep, stone-blind, noteworthy, heart-rending, ear piercing, time-serving, heart-broken, bed-ridden, hand-made, love-lorn, water-proof, self-sacrificing, money-making.

  • Adjective + Adjective; as,

Red-hot, white-hot, dark-brown, dull-grey, lukewarm, worldly-wise, ready-made, widespread, high-born, full-grown, foolhardy, thick-set, new-laid.

Compound Words Examples 2

  • Adverb + participle; as,

Outspoken, down-hearted, well-deserved, downtrodden, long-suffering, everlasting, never-ending, thorough-bred.

Compound Verbs may be formed from:

  • Noun + Verb; as, Earmark, waylay, typewrite, backbite, browbeat.
  • Adjective + Verb; as, Whitewash, dry-clean, safeguard.
  • Adverb + Verb; as,

Overtake, overdo, overhear, overthrow, foresee, foretell, undertake, undergo, outbid, outdo, upset, undersell.

Exercise 1: Explain the formation of the following compound words.

Outlet, overdose, hard-hearted, outspoken, sunstroke, shoe-maker, pastime, household, bloodshed, backbite, underground, gainsay, overcharge, fire-proof, top-heavy, heaven-born, widespread, onlooker, turncoat, cupboard, backslider, passport, fly-wheel, windscreen, earmark, counteract, an afterthought, chicken, hearted, hen-pecked, double-faced, wholehearted, care-worn, underbid, send-off, skin-deep, stronghold, brand-new, jet-black, lifelong, worldly-wise, single-handed, pickpocket, penny-wise, pound-foolish, undergrowth.

Exercise 2: Choose one word from List A and one word from List B to form a compound word

e.g.: crossword.

List A:

Cross, cut, dead, law, cup, cow, court, broad, trust, spend, nut, post, step, type, vice, ward, under, grave, counter, with, news, pass, credit, break, ring, hand, straight, down, high, torch.

List B:

mine, light, yard, draw, robe, president, word, throat, breaker, lock, board, herd, way, martial, shell, worthy, thrift, writer, print, port, script, mother, cast, able, leader, loom, down, bearer, fall, forward.

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