Compound Adjectives in English

What Are Compound Adjectives? A compound adjective is an adjective that includes more than one word.

Compound Adjectives in English

Compound adjectives are adjectives that are made up of two or more words usually with hyphens (-) between them.

Compound adjectives can be formed as follows:

Adjective + Past participle

  • narrow-minded

I can’t stand narrow-minded people who are intolerant of new ideas.

  • high-spirited

The students gave a high-spirited musical performance.

  • old-fashioned

We had lunch in an old-fashioned restaurant.

  • short-haired

He was dancing with a short-haired woman.

  • absent-minded

His absent-minded comment hurt his sister’s feelings.

  • strong-willed

She’s a strong-willed woman who won’t stop until she gets what she wants.

  • quick-witted

The quick-witted detective solved the crime before anyone else had a clue.

  • kind-hearted

A kind-hearted stranger helped us find the train station.

Adverb + Past Participle

  • well-behaved

They have three well-behaved children.

  • well-educated

A lot of well-educated people are still having trouble finding jobs.

  • densely-populated

This densely-populated area has the highest crime rates in the country.

  • widely-recognized

She’s a widely-recognized expert in technology.

  • highly-respected

Our speaker tonight is a highly-respected scholar.

  • brightly-lit

We live on a brightly-lit street in the city center.

Noun + Past Participle

  • sun-baked

We strolled along the sun-baked streets of Naples.

  • child-wanted

I wanted to buy my daughter the most child-wanted toy.

  • middle-aged

A lot of middle-aged men are dissatisfied with their lives.

Noun + Present Participle

  • English-speaking

United Kingdom is an English-speaking country.

  • time-saving

These time-saving techniques will help you work more efficiently.

  • record-breaking

The athlete’s record-breaking performance won him the gold medal.

  • mouth-watering

There was a variety of mouth-watering desserts at the wedding reception.

  • thought-provoking

It was a thought-provoking novel.

Adjective + Present Participle

  • good-looking

Who’s that good-looking guy over there?

  • long-lasting

This long-lasting makeup will keep you looking lovely day and night.

  • slow-moving

I was stuck in slow-moving traffic for over an hour.

  • far-reaching

The new law will have far-reaching effects in the economy.

Adverb + Present Participle

  • never-ending

Learning a language seems to be a never-ending process.

  • forward-thinking

Some forward-thinking politicians are proposing reforms to the educational system.

Noun + Adjective

  • world-famous

We had dinner at a world-famous Italian restaurant.

  • ice-cold

There’s nothing better than drinking an ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day.

  • smoke-free

This is a smoke-free restaurant.

Adjective + Noun

  • full-length

The director produced his first full-length movie in 1998.

  • last-minute

It was a last-minute decision.

Noun + Noun

  • part-time

We have 20 part-time members of staff .

Adjective + Adjective

  • fat-free

These fat-free cookies are delicious!

Compound Adjectives in English 1

A list of compound adjectives with their meanings:

  • Kind-hearted: kind; generous
  • Brightly-litfull of light
  • Old-fashionednot modern
  • Deeply-rooteddifficult to change
  • Good-lookingattractive
  • Labor-savingmaking work easier
  • Left-handeduses left hand for writing ≠ Right- handed
  • Short-sighted: unable to see far things ≠ Long-sighted
  • Well-knownfamous
  • Easy-goingeasy to accept things without worrying
  • Brand-newcompletely new
  • Part-time (job)carries fewer hours per week
  • Badly-writtenwritten in a bad or wrong way
  • Well-paidproviding or receiving good payment
  • Second-handnot new; used by someone before
  • Well-informedknows a lot
  • Open-mindedflexible
  • Red-handeddid a crime or something wrong
  • Tight-fistedmean; not generous with money
  • Well-earneddeserved
  • Self-reliantindependent
  • Self-centeredselfish
  • Ever-lastingeternal
  • Heart-brokendepressed
  • Narrow-mindedinflexible
  • Absent-mindedforgetful; likely to forget things
  • Middle-agedaround 40-50 years old
  • Quick-witted: intelligent, clever, fast at thinking and discovering things
  • Strong-willedstrong desires, stubborn, does not desist
  • High-spiritedwith a lot of energy

Compound Adjectives in English | Images

Compound Adjectives

Compound Adjectives

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