Compound Adjectives List with Examples

We have been learning about a lot regarding Adjectives and Adverbs. There are expert writers and authors who are completely being rational in making proper use of adjectives. But have you ever heard of Compound Adjectives?

In today’s session, we will be discussing Compound Adjectives. Some might be still wondering as to what is a compound adjective? What is its application in the English language? What changes should be done in order to use compound adjectives?

If these are the questions that linger in your mind, then you must take this lesson. We will help you in exploring the definition of compound adjectives and look at some different examples.

So let’s begin with it.

How to Form Compound Adjectives

First of all, we will show you an example from which you will easily make out the difference.

  1. You must be careful from a man-eating tiger
  2. You must be aware of the man eating tiger.

You will see that in the first sentence, we have used a hyphen (-) in the words, which makes a huge difference in the meaning of the two sentences.

From here we will be exploring how the small hyphen will create a different meaning.

The hyphen that is used in the first statement makes it a compound adjective. So now we know that the compound adjectives are made when two or more adjectives that are joined together in order to modify or describe the same noun. When you use a hyphen it will help you to avoid confusion. These are also considered as the hyphenated adjective words.

Examples of Compound Adjectives


Let’s see some examples of compound adjectives in sentences.

  • The snakes and other reptiles are cold-blooded animals.
  • You must be aware that the Great Pyrenees is a beautiful white-furred breed of dog.
  • It is amazing to see a 36-year-old baseball player retire from the game.
  • It is a small 3-foot-deep puddle that covers the playground.

But there are some compound adjectives that are an exception to it. Let’s check them out with some examples.

  • It had been a terribly hot day of this week.
  • You might be thinking that this is an amazing idea and we can move ahead with it.

You must note that when you combine any adverb and adjective it does not create a compound adjective. In such cases, the hyphen is not required because it is already clear that the adverbs will modify the adjective rather than its subsequent noun.

Till now we saw the in-depth explanation of the compound adjectives. But do you know when you can make the use of a hyphen and when not to make use of it?

How to Correctly Use Hyphens in Compound Adjectives

Being a writer you cannot make a mistake while using compound adjectives. When the compound adjective comes before the noun, then it will modify the noun but not when it comes after the noun.

For instance, you can see in the below sentences.

  • London has a world-famous museum which is popular among tourists.
  • London has a museum that is world famous.
  • Mohan was sitting in a brightly-lit room.
  • Mohan was sitting in a room that was brightly lit.
  • The book that I read yesterday was a very though provoking.
  • It was a thought-provoking book that I read yesterday.

In addition to it, you cannot place a hyphen in compound adjectives when they are capitalized. It will happen when they are part of a topic or title.


Make sure you are well aware of the compound adjectives by now. But in case if you have any doubt, you can ask us in the comment section below. Stay Tuned.

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Hyphenated Compound WordsTypes of Adjectives

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