Meaning of COMPOUND in English


I. com ‧ pound 1 AC /ˈkɒmpaʊnd $ ˈkɑːm-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-2,4: Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ compound 3 ]

[ Sense 3: Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: Malay ; Origin: kampong 'group of buildings, village' ]

1 . technical a substance containing atoms from two or more ↑ element s ⇨ element :

man-made organic compounds

compound of

Sulphur dioxide is a compound of sulphur and oxygen.

2 . a combination of two or more parts, substances, or qualities

compound of

Teaching is a compound of several different skills.

Brush on a damp-proofing compound.

3 . an area that contains a group of buildings and is surrounded by a fence or wall:

a prison compound

4 . technical a noun, adjective etc that is made up of two or more words. The noun ‘flower shop’ and the adjective ‘self-made’ are compounds.

• • •


■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + compound

▪ an organic compound (=containing carbon)

the organic compounds of which living things are made

▪ an inorganic compound (=not containing carbon)

▪ a chemical compound (=formed by a chemical process involving two or more elements)

▪ a carbon/nitrogen/sulphur etc compound

Use a copper compound to protect the trees from pests.

▪ a toxic/dangerous compound (=containing poisonous or harmful substances)

toxic compounds such as heavy metals

■ verbs

▪ form a compound

Atoms combine in specific ways to form chemical compounds.

▪ a compound contains something

This compound contains two atoms of nitrogen and four atoms of hydrogen.

• • •


■ a mxture of chemical substances

▪ compound a chemical substance that contains atoms of two or more ↑ element s :

common chemical compounds such as sodium chloride

▪ solution a liquid mixed with a solid or a gas:

a weak sugar solution

II. com ‧ pound 2 AC /kəmˈpaʊnd/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: compondre , from Latin componere , from com- ( ⇨ COM- ) + ponere 'to put' ]

1 . to make a difficult situation worse by adding more problems

compound a problem/difficulty etc

Helmut’s problems were compounded by his lack of concentration.

2 . British English to make a bad action worse by doing more bad things

compound a crime/an offence etc

He compounded the offence by calling his opponents liars.

3 . be compounded of something formal to be a mixture of things:

a smell compounded of dust and dead flowers

4 . American English to pay ↑ interest that is calculated on both the sum of money and the interest:

Interest is compounded quarterly.

III. com ‧ pound 3 AC /ˈkɒmpaʊnd $ ˈkɑːm-/ BrE AmE adjective technical

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Origin: Past participle of compoun 'to compound' (14-17 centuries) , from Old French componre , from Latin componere ; ⇨ ↑ compound 2 ]

1 . compound eye/leaf etc a single eye, leaf etc that is made up of two or more parts ⇨ simple

2 . compound noun/adjective etc a noun, adjective etc that is made up of two or more words. For example, ‘ice cream’ is a compound noun.

3 . compound sentence a sentence that has two or more main parts ⇨ complex sentence

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.