What are Compound Adjectives?

Compound Adjectives Definition

What Are compound Adjectives? Learn exactly how to develop compound adjectives. Compound adjectives are adjectives that are composed of two or even more words normally with hyphens (-) between them.

If you recognize your grammar, you’re most likely already well aware of adjectives. To place it merely, adjectives are words that define nouns as well as pronouns. While there are many different types of adjectives, most of them are just single words such as upset, slow, smart, awesome, or goofy.

However, some adjectives are made from many words collaborating such as world-famous, short-term, or under-the-table. These adjectives are called compound adjectives, and although they might look a little bit strange, they are perfectly capable of doing all of the tasks that adjectives do.

Does a compound adjective always need a hyphen?

Sometimes, might not make use of hyphens when using a compound adjective. Instead, they might make use of quotation marks or italics to indicate they are utilizing more words together as a compound adjective.

For Example; Dog house, Fire truck, dub reggae, pro bono

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Closed compound adjectives

Closed compound adjectives are adjectives that have no hyphen and no space between words. Here are a few closed compound adjectives in sentences:

  • The meat was undercooked, but the onion was perfect.
  • He bought an overstuffed ottoman for his living room. 

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Types of compound adjectives in English

There are nine types of compound adjectives in English grammar. We are going to explain these nine types of compound adjectives in English.

Part of speechPart of speechExamples
AdjectiveNounFirst-time, long-distance, short-term
AdjectivePresent ParticipleSpanish-speaking, Fast-talking, backward-facing
NounPast Participlesun-dried, Whitewashed, homegrown
NumberNounFour-wheel, Second-place, nineteenth-century
NounAdjectiveSky-blue, Ice-cold, cruelty-free
NounPresent ParticipleMouth-watering, French-speaking, self-effacing
AdverbPast ParticipleUndercooked, Tightly wound, overpopulated
AdjectivePast ParticipleDeep-fried, Double-baked, warm-blooded
NounNounBulletproof, seasick, meat-eater
Adjective Words, Adjectives, Compound Adjectives, What are Compound Adjectives, AdjectivesPin

200+ Compound Adjectives List

Since compound adjectives are adjectives that are made from more than two words. There are hundreds or even thousands of compound adjectives. A few common examples of compound adjectives are listed below.

500-wordold-fashioned
6-pageone-of-a-kind
absent-mindedopen-minded
all-too-commonOver-confident
amazingly goodOverly affectionate
apple-pieoverpopulated
backward-facingoverstuffed
Bad-temperedpart-time
beaten-uppro bono
beautifully paintedquick-witted
better-suitedrecord-breaking
Big-headedred-hot
Billy Elliotrunning on empty
blue-collarSeasick
blue-skySecond-place
brand-newsecond-rate
brightly-litSelf-absorbed
Broad-mindedSelf-acting
broken-downSelf-addressed
built-inSelf-adhesive
built-upSelf-appointed
bulletproofSelf-assembly
cashed-upSelf-assertive
child-wantedSelf-assured
cold-bloodedSelf-aware
Cold-heartedSelf-centered
cruelty-freeSelf-colour
deep-dishSelf-confessed
deep-friedSelf-confident
deep-waterself-conscious
densely-populatedSelf-contained
dimly litSelf-contradictory
Dog houseSelf-correcting
DoghouseSelf-critical
Double-bakedSelf-defeating
dub reggaeSelf-denying
Easy-goingSelf-drive
English-speakingSelf-educated
extra cheesyself-effacing
eye-openingSelf-employed
far-reachingSelf-evident
Fast-pacedSelf-explanatory
Fast-talkingSelf-important
fat-freeSelf-imposed
fifteen-year-oldshort-haired
Firetruckshort-handed
five-starShort-tempered
forward-thinkingshow-stopping
four-footsky-blue
four-wheelslow-moving
French-speakingsmoke-free
full-lengthSpanish-speaking
good-lookingStrong-minded
Good-naturedstrong-willed
grass-fedsun-baked
green-eyedsun-dried
gut-wrenchingterribly hot
Hard-workingThick-skinned
high octanethird-party
highest-taxedthought-provoking
highly-respectedthree-floor
high-spiritedthree-page
homegrownthree-storey
Ice-coldTightly wound
kind-heartedtime-saving
Laid-backtwentieth-century
last-minutetwo-year-old
lesser-knownundercooked
Level headedup-to-date
level-headedWaking the Dead
lightly saucedwarm-blooded
long-lastingWarmly received
long-lifeWeak-willed
low-stresswell-behaved
meat-eaterwell-educated
middle-agedwell-fatted
most densely populatedWell-known
most ethnically diversewell-off
mouth-wateringWhitewashed
narrow-mindedwidely-recognized
Neatly pressedworld-famous
never-endingYellow-striped
nineteenth-century

Compound adjective example sentences

Here are some examples of sentences using compound adjectives.

  • The people in this company are so narrow-minded.
  • Sofia gave a high-spirited musical performance.
  • They had lunch in an old-fashioned restaurant.
  • Olivia was dancing with a short-haired boy.
  • Her absent-minded comment hurt her brother’s feelings.
  • These fat-free recipes are delicious!
  • They have 50 part-time members of staff.
  • It was a last-minute decision.
  • Matthew was tall and good-looking.
  • Charlotte produced her first full-length movie in 2019.
  • This is a smoke-free kitchen.
  • They were stuck in a line of slow-moving traffic.
  • Natalia noticed two middle-aged passengers on the bus.
  • All of the cookies made in this oven are gluten-free.
  • The woman who is performing today is a well-known lady.
  • Crows are long-lived birds.
  • His articles are world-famous.
  • Isabella is the most easy-going child in school.
  • Addison’s a widely-recognized professional in technology.
  • Bella wanted to buy her daughter the most child-wanted bike.
  • This is a four-foot chair.
  • Amelia is a part-time worker.
  • It is an all-too-common error.
  • Beware of the yellow-eyed monster.
  • William is a cold-blooded boy.
  • Mia loves this brightly-lit office!
  • This is a well-behaved cat.
  • You have to be open-minded about Emma.
  • Oliver proved himself a quick-witted negotiator.
  • Everyone says Benjamin is a kind-hearted officer.
  • Scarlett comes from a well-educated family.
  • Lahore is a densely-populated city in Pakistan.

Compound adjectives with meanings

Our team formulated an extensive list of compound adjectives with meaning.

  • Highly-respected: A person who deserves respect
  • Meat-eater: carnivore, an animal that eats only meat
  • Kind-hearted: generous, kind
  • Brightly-lit: bright, full of light
  • Old-fashioned: old style, not modern
  • Deeply-rooted: difficult to change
  • Good-looking: attractive, awesome
  • Labor-saving: making work easier
  • Left-handed: using the left hand for routine work
  • Short-sighted: unable to see far things
  • Well-known: famous, popular
  • Easy-going: relaxed, easy to accept things without worrying
  • Brand-new: fresh, completely new
  • Part-time: some hours work, temporary job
  • Badly-written: faultily, imperfectly, written in a bad or wrong way
  • Well-paid: good payment
  • Second-hand: not new; used by someone before
  • Well-informed: knows a lot
  • Open-minded: flexible
  • Red-handed: did a crime or something wrong
  • Tight-fisted: mean; not generous with money
  • Well-earned: deserved, justifiable
  • Self-reliant: independent, egocentric
  • Self-centered: egocentric, selfish
  • Ever-lasting: eternal, immortal, permanent
  • Heart-broken: crushed, suffering, depressed
  • Narrow-minded: conservative, inflexible
  • Absent-minded: forgetful, likely to forget things
  • Middle-aged: around 35-55 years old
  • Quick-witted: intelligent, clever, smart, fast at thinking and discovering things
  • Strong-willed: strong desires
  • High-spirited: full of energy
  • Well-educated: Full of knowledge
  • Fat-free: food with zero fat
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Compound adjectives InfoGraphics

Here are some printable infographics about compound adjectives. Printable infographics are a fantastic way to share a significant amount of details in a short time in a stunning way. The compound adjectives infographic can help teachers and students to share their thoughts easily.

Adjective Words, Adjectives, Compound Adjectives, What are Compound Adjectives, AdjectivesPin

My Considerations

Since the Adjective is the main part of English reading, the importance of developing vocabulary cannot be undervalued without compound adjectives.

You can read the above simple list of compound adjectives to improve your understanding of English grammar.

Encourage your children to learn these basic but commonly used compound adjectives, by following the simple example sentences given above. Then, save this list of compound adjectives, handy for future interview use.

If you enjoyed a printable infographic about compound adjectives, I’d be very thankful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to your friends or sharing it on Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Thank you!

Recap of what we just learned

  • What are Compound Adjectives?
  • Compound Adjectives Definition
  • Does a compound adjective always need a hyphen?
  • Closed compound adjectives
  • Types of compound adjectives in English
  • 200+ Compound Adjectives List
  • Compound adjective example sentences
  • Compound adjectives with meanings
  • Compound adjective InfoGraphics

If you’re having any doubts about the qualities of compound adjectives, you can leave a comment below, and we’ll attempt to give you feedback as early as possible. Thank you!

Explore the full list of Adjectives to Describe a Person from A to Z!

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