What Is Compound Adjective? Compound Adjectives List, Sentences and Examples

What Is Compound Adjective? Compound Adjectives Sentences and Examples

Compound Adjectives

 What Is Compound Adjective?

How do we describe a location when you’re writing about it? We use adjectives to describe it. Consider the following sentence:

The bath was steamy and dim.

The terms steamy and dim are used in this statement. You may use words like these to describe the subject of your writing and help your reader see it. A clear picture isn’t always enough; sometimes you need to create a crystal-clear picture. Compound adjectives are one of the most powerful tools in your repertoire when you need to achieve that.

Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made up of two or more words. A compound term consists of two or more words, such as:

  • Doghouse
  • Firetruck

Both are compound nouns, which are words that express a specific person, place, object, or notion. Nouns are described using compound adjectives.


Consider the following instances of compound adjectives:

  • Well-known
  • Old-fashioned
  • Fast-paced


Types of compound adjectives


     Part of Speech       Part of Speech              Example

  • Adjective +          Noun                    =             Short-term, first-time, long-distance
  • Adjective +    Present Participle     =       Fast-talking, time-saving, waste-reducing
  • Noun                +       Past Participle        =            Whitewashed, sun-dried, homegrown
  • Number +           Noun                     =             Second-place, nineteenth-century, four-wheel
  • Noun      +           Adjective             =             Ice-cold, sky-blue, cruelty-free
  • Noun                +    Present Participle    =             French-speaking, mouth-watering, self-effacing
  • Adverb               +          Past Participle     =             Tightly wound, overpopulated, undercooked
  • Adjective +          Past Participle     =             Double-baked, deep-fried, warm-blooded
  • Noun                +           Noun                   =             Seasick, meat eater, bulletproof

  Here are a few examples of compound adjectives in sentences:

  • You should anticipate doing pro bono work as a rookie lawyer.
  • At the end of this month, my sister and I will attend a dub reggae
  • For her living room, she purchased an overstuffed
  • Although the pork was undercooked, the broccoli was delicious.
  • At the diner, we had a second-rate
  • My younger sibling suffers from Type 2
  • It turned out to be a job with very low stress.
  • We didn’t want to wait for a table, so we went to a restaurant that was less well-known than the others in the area.
  • I found a web designer to create a one-of-a-kind website for my brand.
  • They won tickets to the new, never-before-seen-in-this-city 3D scary movie!
  • The sauna was steamy and dimly lit.

Notation: A hyphen is not used when a compound adjective begins with an adverb. Here are a few instances of compound adjectives that begin with adverbs and hence don’t have hyphens between them.

  • Neatly pressed
  • Overly affectionate
  • Warmly received


Notation: A hyphen is required in other compound adjectives to indicate that the two (or more) words are operating together as a single compound adjective. Let’s return to the yellow-striped example from previously.

  • She drove a yellow-striped car.
  • She drove a yellow, striped car.

Compound adjectives are one approach to make your writing more interesting, but it’s not the only option. Engaging writing is clear, error-free, and has a constant, suitable tone for the topic being discussed.