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Compound Noun examples Usage & Formation


Compound Noun examples Usage & Formation

Compound noun examples & Definition:

A compound noun is made up of more than one word and it makes a new meaning and a new word. it depends with or without a short hyphen ( ) is called Compound Noun. a compound noun is a noun that is made with two or more words. a compound noun is usually ( noun + noun ) or ( adjective + noun ), but there are additional combinations that are well defined in ” Formations of Compound Noun “.

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A compound noun is a word that combines two or more words than two words are mixing them to make a single noun. It is called a compound noun because it involves more than one word to determine it. 

In easy words, compound nouns are built up of two, or more words. It is utilised to show a person, place, things, animals, or thoughts, habitually made up of two words. Most compound nouns are made with nouns that are modified by adjectives or other nouns.

Lean Formation of Compound Nouns, How the Compound nouns are formed?

Explanation of Compound Noun:

In several compound nouns, the first word describes or qualifies the second word, delivering us penetration into what kind of word an object is, and giving us clues about the object view. The second word regularly classifies the thing.

Compound nouns are seldom one word, similar toothpaste, hairstyle, haircut, or bedroom. These are usually committed to as restricted or solid compound nouns.

Seldom compound nouns are connected with a hyphen: dry-sweeping, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and instances of hyphenated compound nouns.

Seldom compound nouns appear as two different words: full moon, Christmas tree, bathing pool etc these are examples of compound nouns that are created with two different words. These are usually introduced to as open or interval compound nouns.

Compound noun examples:

( Teaspoon, Side table, Basketball, Bathroom, Wheelchair ) etc

Compound Nouns examples in Sentences:

1: Can you reach me today in the marketplace?

2: He seems like a cowboy from his outfit.

3: She covers in the darkroom while scraping hide n try the game.

4: He bought earphones for hearing to the music.

5: He split-shift in his flashback while describing stories.

6: Earth has also described the greenhouse.

7: The doctor is terminating the heartbeats of the patient.

8: An icecap is regarding our ship.

9: People from mountain ranges encountered more landslides.

10: The drunk person declined to enter a key into the keyhole.

11: Abruptly, an aircraft fell on the road in front of my bus.

12: He slipped into a bedroom.

13: Pass me that chopstick and salt.

14: Have you done your work by yourself?

15: We met in a generator workshop.

16: There is a rainbow that seems wonderful in the sky.

17: Will you please show me the password of your computer?

18: The teacher ordered a notebook to review the homework

List of Compound Nouns:

Tapeworm Seashell Rainbow Password
Notebook Marketplace Cowboy Darkroom
Earphone Flashback Greenhouse Heartbeats
Iceberg Landslides Aircraft Bathroom
Chopstick Yourself Bedroom Workshop
Tapeworm Keypad Highway Keyboard
Loophole Starfish Takeout Foreground
Good morning Airport Birthday Baseball
Bookstore Classroom Doorbell Everyone
Eardrum Grassland Anyone Background
Basketball Backyard Caretaker Daylight
Night mode Worksheet Earbud Firewood
Footprint Fingerprint Grasscutter Inside
Handwriting Handgun Homework Lifetime

Pronunciation of Compound Noun

Compound nouns usually focus more on the first word. In the phrase ” pink ball ” both words are emphasized equally (as you know, adjectives and nouns are always stressed). In the compound noun “golf ball” the first word is most stressed (although both words are nouns and nouns are always stressed). Since “golf ball” is a compound noun, we consider it a singular noun and thus focus on the first word. With complex nouns, emphasis is important. For example, it helps us see if someone said: “ greenhouse ” (a house painted green) or “ a greenhouse ” (a glass building with plants growing in it).

The difference between of Compound noun in American and British Language with examples

Different sorts of the English language and actually different writers can use the open, hyphenated, or closed form of the same compound noun. It’s partially about style. There are no fixed laws. We find the example for better understanding:

  • Cargo ship
  • Cargo-ship
  • Cargoship

If you are not infallible which forms to use here, please read 1st form of compound nouns that are given to you and you can find dictionaries.

Compound Nouns are in Plural Forms

In unrestricted, we make the plural form of a compound noun by adding of ( s ) to the ” headquarters words ” (the most ” meaningful ” word). 


Singular Plural
One assistant headmaster Ten assistant headmasters
The sergeant-major some sergeants major
A mother-in-law three mothers-in-law
A tennis shoe three tennis shoes
An assistant secretary of state life three assistant secretaries of state life
A doctor of philosophy five doctors of philosophy
My toothbrush our toothbrushes
A passerby, a passer-by three passersby, three passers-by
A woman-doctor ten women-doctors


That there are some differences with words like bucket or truck. The old fashion was to say buckets or trucks full to collect. Nowadays, it is common to say full buckets or trucks. Old-style (on spoons) and new style (on spoons) are usually acceptable, but you need to be consistent in your choice.

  Old style plural form (very classic ) new style plural form
Truckful truckful of sand truckfuls of sand
Bucketful bucketsful of water bucketfuls of water
Cupful cupsful of rice cupfuls of rice
Teaspoonful teaspoonsful of sugar teaspoonfuls of sugar

Some compound noun and examples don’t have a unique keyword and you may need to consult a dictionary to find the plural:

  • Go-betweens
  • Has-beens
  • Also-rans
  • Good-for-nothings
  • Grown-ups
  • Higher-ups


That is compound nouns made up of ( noun + noun ), the first noun is an adjective and is therefore not normally used. An apple tree has many apples, but we say an apple tree, not an apple tree ( x ); A matchbox, not a matchbox ( x ). A toothbrush, not a toothbrush ( x ).

In compound nouns of ( noun + noun ), the second noun adopts -s for the plural. The first noun functions as an adjective, and as you know, adjectives are inflexible in English.

See these examples:

Long Form of Plural is becoming
Compound Noun of Plural
( Noun + Noun )
50 flowers with leaves 50 Flower leaves
100 wires for telephones 100 telephone wires
30 boxes for guns 30 gun boxes
10 stops for airports 10 airport stops
4,000 wheels for trains 4,000 train wheels

Why should I agonise about Compound noun examples & terms?

There are three main problems with compound nouns.

( 1st Issue ) Choose the correct version ( any version with spaces, zeros, or hyphens )

Choosing the correct or better form of a compound noun can be a nightmare. This is the situation:

  • Some compound names have always been one-word versions (e.g. keyarea )
  • Some of the two words have been converted to a one-word version (e.g. a snow man in a snowman)
  • Some of the two words become a one-word version (e.g. eye opener to eye opener).
  • Some of the two words don’t intersect (like peace pipe)
  • Some complex nouns have always been relative clauses (like reluctance).
  • Some of the two words have been moved to the police version (e.g. Play to Playoff and Soon Playoff).
  • Some words are hyphenated (e.g. ice cream to ice cream).
  • Some exist in two versions (e.g. ice ax or ice ax, but not ice ax)
  • Some of them in all three versions (e.g. chat rooms, chat room, chat room).

For the best chance of getting to the correct or better version, do the following tests:

(Exam # 1)

Use a spell checker or dictionary to find a one-word version. If so, then happy days – done. If not, go to Exam 2.

(Check # 2)

See if there is a hyphenated version that uses the dictionary. (You can’t use the spell checker because it treats the hyphen as a space, checks the spelling of the origin on both sides, and makes sure you know what you’re doing with complex names. (Yes, thanks, Microsoft.) If it is there, you are done. If not, tick Ab 3, tick 4 and tick 5.

Here are some guidelines on the types of compound nouns that should always be placed over a hyphen:

  • Noun in the form of “role” – “role” (for example student-athlete, soldier, poet, boy-child)
  • Nouns with a preposition in the middle (e.g. warriors, brothers in arms)
  • Last names of relatives who have great-grandchildren (e.g. great-grandmother, great-grandchildren)
  • Fully written fractions (e.g. two-thirds, one-fourth)
  • Title with vice president and elected (e.g. newly elected president, vice president)
  • Words with “I” (e.g. self-confidence, self-control)

(Check # 3)

You now have a two-word version that you should use unless the sentence is ambiguous.

1: I like braising steak.

Here, ( This is your comment is about how you like to cook steak, so, you write as braising-steak to destroy the opaqueness ).

2: I need a robot fastener.

Here, ( it would be construed as the fastener made of the robot, so you can write robot-fastener to destroy the opaqueness ).

(Exam # 4)

If there is no ambiguity, there is a version of the two words that you can use unless you feel the need to connect them so that the reader can quickly identify them as a single object.

  • The big challenge is to achieve a positive cash-flow at all. (Businessman John Mackey)
  • I have fantasies about giving up my cell-phone. (Actress Julia Stiles)
  • Domain names and websites are new real-estate. (Businessman Mark Ostrowski)

The hyphenated copy stands out as a single unit, which makes it easier to read. This is justified.

Adding a hyphen to a two-word compound name helps smooth the transition between the plural and one-word versions. Even if you want to make your words easier for your readers to understand, using two-word hyphens can make some words aw-kward.

(Check # 5)

Whenever you join compound nouns to make them more visible as a single object, reconsider your decision. Are you still happy, then go?

( 2nd Issue ) Formation of Compound Noun of Plural Form

Compound nouns that contain a hyphen (such as the husband’s son-in-law) and compound nouns that contain a space (such as Templar) usually make up the plural for the plural of the keyword.

  • I had two sisters-in-law. One of them was a karate expert and was later drafted into the army. The first time he lived he committed suicide. (Comedian Henny Youngman)
  • The Knights Templar was a kind of SAS in the Middle Ages. (Historian Dan Jones)

Add s (or es) to the end of the compound word if there is no obvious keyword (e.g. forget-me-not).

  • The session of the military tribunal was presided over by two lieutenants. (There is debate over the keyword court-martial, but court-martial is twice as common as court-martial. Here is the evidence.)

( 3rd Issue ) Making the Possessive nouns from the Compound noun like as Son-in-law

The Compound Nouns like as ( son-in-law ) The possessive noun is made just by adding of ( s ) to the end of any word nevertheless of whether it is singular or plural.

Singular Plural
Father-in-law’s Aeroplan Fathers-in-law’s wifes
Mister-in-chief’s coming Misters-in-chief’s meeting
the housemaid of honour’s bouquet The housemaids of honour’s arrival

A to Z Grammar Book Index

Related Topics:

1: Concrete Noun definition types and Examples

2: Nominative / Subjective Case Reasons & examples

3: Define countable nouns & examples

4: Inanimate Noun

5: Animate Noun

6: Diminutive noun definition formation & examples

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