Top 90+ List of Compound Words To Improve Your Vocabulary

Here is our list of compound words to add to your writing projects.

Learning and understanding compound words expand your vocabulary and make your speaking and writing more interesting. 

What Are Compound Words in the English Language?

List of Compound Words
Headache is an example of compound words

A compound is a result of combining two or more words to form a new English term with different meanings. It is vital in writing, reading, and speaking as a compound word provides information from two different ideas. Because the English language is so flexible and constantly changing, more and more new compound words appear in English dictionaries.

Look at the list of compound words you can use every day:

List of Compound Words

List of compound words
List of compound words
A-frameHard-workingPass Away
AirborneHeadlightPhoto Id
Ask OutHeartbeatPost Office
Blow UpHigh-techProofread
Bow TieJaywalkReal Estate
Cave InJigsaw PuzzleRole Play
Call OffKing-sizeSelf-service
Check-inLabor DaySnowman
Christmas TreeLife-sizeSort Out
Course WorkLifespanSpreadsheet
DatabaseLife VestSweet Tooth
DoorbellLiving RoomTake Off
Drop OutLong-lastingTennis Shoes
English-speakingLoudspeakerTime Capsule
ExtracurricularMake OverTime-saving
Fill UpMerry-go-roundU-turn
Fine ArtMouth-wateringUnderdog
FireproofMovie TheaterUp-to-date
Full MoonNationwideWell-being
Get AwayOn-siteWord-of-mouth
GrandchildOuter SpaceX-ray
Grand JuryOver-the-counterYearbook

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Closed Compound Words

These are formed using two unique and independent words written as one. Unlike other types, a closed compound word doesn’t have spaces or special characters. 

  1. Airborne

You can transmit airborne diseases like COVID-19 to others by sneezing and coughing.

  1. Breathtaking

The sea view from my bedroom window is breathtaking.

  1. Database

Our company plans to build a new database for all our clients’ information.

  1. Extracurricular

Geneva likes to join and attend extracurricular activities at her school.

  1. Fireproof

My grandfather has a fireproof safe for all his important documents, jewelry, and money.

  1. Gingerbread

My sister invites me to make a gingerbread house for Christmas.

  1. Headlight

The headlight in Carlo’s car is not working.

  1. Jaywalk

There are signs warning people not to jaywalk, but people still do it.

  1. Knothole

I get weird vibes from him because he has the habit of peeking through the knothole to watch other people.

  1. Loudspeaker

Glen put the call on loudspeaker so we could hear the whole conversation.

  1. Marketplace

You can buy and sell almost anything on the Facebook marketplace.

  1. Nationwide

We are currently experiencing a nationwide water interruption.

  1. Ourselves

Nowadays, it’s best to trust ourselves than other people.

  1. Proofread

She likes to thoroughly proofread her essay before submitting them to her teacher.

  1. Spreadsheet

I use Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheet files on my computer.

  1. Timetable

May I know where I can see the train timetable going to the city?

  1. Underdog

We believe our underdog basketball team will win this season.

  1. Videocassette

Can you teach me how to use your videocassette recorder, grandpa?

  1. Woodpecker

A woodpecker uses its strong beak to make holes in trees and search for food.

  1. Yearbook

The school photography club will take our yearbook photos today!

Open Compound Words

When there’s a space that separates a compound word, it’s called an open compound word. These words are separate but still have different meanings when used together. Other examples of open compound words include:

  1. Bow Tie

The new CEO prefers to wear a bow tie rather than a necktie to complete his work outfit.

  1. Cave In

The earthquake was so strong that I thought the ground below me would cave in.

  1. Christmas Tree

Mom and I will look for the perfect Christmas tree tomorrow.

  1. Course Work

Agatha’s English professor gives her a lot of course work to pass the semester.

  1. Fine Art

There are many antiques and fine art in the new museum.

  1. Full Moon

Can you join me in watching the full moon tonight?

  1. Grand Jury

The grand jury will hear the testimony of all the witnesses in the case this week.

  1. Jigsaw Puzzle

This world map jigsaw puzzle is so big that we must spend many nights completing it.

  1. Labor Day

In the US, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

  1. Life Vest

A life vest and life jacket have the same primary purpose – to prevent you from drowning.

  1. Living Room

Dad wants to change the interior design of our living room, but mom thinks it’s just a waste of money.

  1. Movie Theater

Liam plans to ask Cleo out on a date to the movie theater.

  1. Outer Space

The little boy asks his dad if he can buy him a spacecraft so he can go to outer space.

  1. Photo ID

Here’s the application form, and please do not forget to attach a clear photo ID before submitting it.

  1. Post Office

There is a notice that my parcel will arrive at the post office tomorrow.

  1. Real Estate

Clementine is a great and successful real estate agent, which is why her company values ​​her.

  1. Role Play

With her family’s influence and no real acting talent, many complained that she didn’t deserve to be the main character in the new school role play

  1. Sweet Tooth

My little sister has a sweet tooth. Give her a box of chocolates, and she will love you.

  1. Tennis Shoes

This new pair of tennis shoes is from my supportive parents, whom I love the most.

  1. Time Capsule

My friends and I will bury a time capsule with wishes for our future selves.

Hyphenated Compound Words

A hyphenated compound word is easy to recognize because of its special character. It is two or more words joined together and separated by a hyphen. Here are some examples of a hyphenated compound word in an English sentence:

  1. A-frame

Unlike what other people say, the A-frame house is not cheap to build, but it is durable.

  1. Check-in

According to the hotel’s policy, we must check-in at two in the afternoon.

  1. Editor-in-chief

Wrenne is the new editor-in-chief of a famous magazine.

  1. Father-in-law

My father-in-law is celebrating his birthday on Sunday, here’s your invitation!

  1. Fund-raiser

The fund-raiser has concerns about distance and security at the sports fest venue.

  1. High-tech

I’m jealous of my friend’s home appliances because everything is high-tech and expensive.

  1. In-depth

Owners of high-rise condominiums expect contractors to provide in-depth monitoring during project completion.

  1. King-size

Except for the width, a queen and a king-size bed has the same length of 80 inches.

  1. Life-size

What if we give her a life-size standee of her favorite celebrity?

  1. Long-term

Looking for long-term investment is the best thing to do rather than waste your money on temporary luxuries.

  1. Merry-go-round

The little boy has been waiting for his turn at the merry-go-round for hours despite his mother coaxing him to try tomorrow.

  1. On-site

We need to get to your first on-site filming location early tomorrow.

  1. Over-the-counter

Be careful when taking over-the-counter medications, as others can harm your health.

  1. Self-service

We’ll eat at a self-service restaurant later, is that okay with you?

  1. Three-dimensional

The third participant has excellent skills in using three-dimensional effects in painting.

  1. U-turn

That U-turn slot is out of place and is likely to cause many accidents.

  1. Up-to-date

I like watching home design videos on YouTube to get up-to-date with the most innovative home ideas.

  1. Well-being

A healthy diet promotes a sense of well-being.

  1. Word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth is their primary marketing strategy.

  1. X-ray

The doctor wants to see my X-ray results.

Compound Verbs

There are three sub-categories within each type of compound word. A compound verb comprises two separate regular verbs to describe an action. Usually, compound verbs come under open compound words. 

  1. Ask Out

“Mia, is he the one you want to ask out?”

  1. Blow Up

His enemies will do everything to blow up his plan.

  1. Call Off

It’s best to call off the outdoor event if it continues to rain.

  1. Drop Out

Many students drop out of school due to financial, personal, and social issues.

  1. Fill Up

Students who wish to join must fill up the form and submit it to their professors today.

  1. Get Away

I promise you’ll never get away from your crimes!

  1. Make Over

Are you sure you want a total make over just to make him like you?

  1. Pass Away

It’s a harrowing thought, but many will pass away because of the super typhoon.

  1. Sort Out

It’s time to sort out your things and just keep the essential things. 

  1. Take Off

The airplane will take off soon, hurry!

Compound Nouns

People use these words to label something with a new name. A compound noun is usually formed by combining two nouns or an adjective and a noun. However, there are other combinations. 

  1. Caregiver

Sheena’s mom is working as a caregiver in the US.

  1. Doorbell

Please press the doorbell three times. Thank you!

  1. Grandchild

She’s his grandparents’ favorite grandchild.

  1. Headache

“Please try to keep the noise down; I have a terrible headache.”

  1. Heartbeat

“Oh, this is bad – my heartbeat becomes irregular whenever he smiles.”

  1. Innkeeper

The innkeeper welcomes all their guests with a smile.

  1. Lifespan

“Did you know that an individual with down syndrome has a lifespan of 60 years?”

  1. Myself

“I’ll do it myself if you don’t want to do it.”

  1. Notebook

There’s an apparent notebook shortage whenever the new school year starts.

  1. Pancake

He woke up early to make a big pancake for his lover.

  1. Quarterback

I can’t believe my parent’s love story is the typical quarterback who fell in love with the nerd type.

  1. Rattlesnake

“Quick! She was bit by a poisonous rattlesnake!”

  1. Skateboard

Dave feels down because his savings aren’t enough for a new skateboard.

  1. Snowman

My son loves to play outside during winter to build a snowman.

  1. Zookeeper

“This is Jake, our new zookeeper!”

Check out our list of interjection words and our list of contraction words.

Compound Adjectives

Regular and compound adjectives both describe a noun. But unlike a regular adjective, a compound is made of two words joined with a hyphen. 

  1. Absent-minded

He becomes more absent-minded as his dementia progresses.

  1. Brown-eyed

Alexa’s newborn is a beautiful brown-eyed baby.

  1. Full-length

It’ll be great if I can paint the frame of my full-length mirror green, so it matches the colors of my room.

  1. English-speaking

He can just ask around if ever he gets lost. He’s an English-speaking visitor.

  1. Good-looking

Jay is tall, dark, and quite good-looking.

  1. Hard-working

Gia is a very hard-working person, and she deserves rest.

  1. Long-lasting

The accident caused her to suffer long-lasting psychological damage.

  1. Mouth-watering

There are lots of mouth-watering sweets in the buffet!

  1. Part-time:

He needs to get a part-time job to earn money.

  1. Time-saving

Mom likes to purchase items with time-saving features.

  1. World-famous

June dreams of being a world-famous singer someday.Are you concerned about writing incomplete sentences? Check out our guide to sentence fragments for writers.


  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.