Definition of Compound Adjective (with Examples)

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Definition of Compound Adjective (with Examples)

A compound adjective is a single adjective comprising more than one word. The words in a compound adjective are usually grouped together using hyphens to show it is a single adjective.

Examples of Compound Adjectives

Here are some example of compound adjectives (shaded):
  • four-foot table
  • 12-page magazine
  • free-range eggs
  • never-to-be-forgotten experience
  • well-known lawyer
Read more about hyphens in compound adjectives.

Alternatives to Hyphens in Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives can also be grouped using italics, quotation marks, and title case (i.e., capital letters). For example:
  • It's a bona fide purchaser.
  • (compound adjective grouped using italics)
  • Is that your "go away" look?
  • (compound adjective grouped using quotation marks)
  • Did you watch the Harry Potter documentary?
  • (compound adjective grouped using title case)

Read more about the alternatives to hyphens in compound adjectives.

Take a longer test on compound adjectives.