Compound Words: English Vocabulary

Compound Words: English Vocabulary

In this complete tutorial for beginners’ learners are going to learn Compound words: English vocabulary and go through the alphabet and learn some interesting compound words from A – Z and teach you one or two interesting compound words starting with each letter. so let’s get started.

Before you proceed you can watch the video here.

Compound words are when two or more words are put together to form a new word with a new meaning. There are 3 forms of compound words:

Closed form compound words

The two words are joined together without a hyphen or a space.








Open form compound words

This form the words are separated by space and some examples are:

Light year

Post office

Real estate

Truck driver

Middle class

High school

Hyphenated compound words

This form is where the words are connected or joined like part – time, check – in

and sister – in – law.

Some words have more than one form, for some words both the open and hyphenated form are acceptable as in the light – year , lightyear, that’s the distance that light can travel in a year, it’s very long way and for some words both the hyphenated and closed from are acceptable as in the word easy – going, easygoing, which means relax.

Sometimes compound words are easy to understand – a bookstore is a store that sells books, it makes sense and the dishwasher is a machine that washes dishes, maybe you have one in your kitchen, but others may not have so obvious for example; brainstorm – to brainstorm is an intense process of thinking of many different ideas and the hope is getting a good idea, you can see it comes from a word brain and storm, when there’s a thunderstorm it rains a lot so is the same when brainstorm, we think of a lot if ideas.

A little harder

Another interesting compound word is scapegoat– it means someone who bears the blame for others. Now, this word comes from a scape and goat, that’s the animal called a goat and its origin is in the Bible which described a ritual in which a goat symbolic we took on the sins the bad actions of the people and was then sent into the wild to die, but if you didn’t know that it might be difficult to understand the meaning of scapegoat.

So, in todays lesson lets go through the alphabet and learn some interesting compound words from A – Z and teach you one or two interesting compound words starting with each letter. Now, there are hundreds if not thousands of compound words in English and this is just an introduction to the world of compound words.

Compound words that starts with A to Z


Anchorperson –  A television reporter who coordinates a broadcast to which

                                    several correspondents contribute

Applesauce –  a sweet food made from cooked apples


Backbite – is to say mean or slanderous things about a person behind their back.

Backfire – have the opposite effect to what was intended.


Capsizeto (cause a boat or ship to) turn upside down by accident while on water         

huge wave capsized the ship.

Chairman – a person in charge of a meetingorganization, or department;

                        a chairperson

The chairman thanked everyone who attended the meeting.


Darkroom –  a room in which film or the like is made, handled

 My father developed pictures in the darkroom.

Daredevil –  a reckless person who enjoys doing dangerous things.

            Robert is a daredevil.


Earphone –  a piece of electronic equipment that you put over or in your ears so that

                        you can listen privately to radiorecorded music, etc..

Earring –  piece of jewelry, usually one of a pairworn in a hole in

                        the ear or fastened to the ear by a clip   

My brother was wearing an earring in his left ear.


Farmhousethe main house on a farm where the farmer lives

            We visited the farmhouse of my grandparents.

Fanlight –  a small window over the top of a door


Goalkeeper –  (in some sports) the player who stands in the

                        team’s goal to try to stop the other team from scoring

            The goalkeeper made a great save in the last minute of the match.

Goldsmith –  a person who makes gold articles.


Hairbrush –  a brush for the hair.

            Jenny sat down and picked up her hairbrush.

Handbag –   a small bag for money, keys, make-up, etc., carried especially by women


Invoicea list of goods sent or services provided, with a statement of the sum due for

                        these; a bill.

Inmatea person confined to an institution such as a prison or hospital.

            This meaning comes from in and mate, “friend or companion.”


Jaywalk to cross or walk in a street recklessly or illegally

Jobholder  the written authority given a worker or shop to perform certain work.


Kickoff –  a kick that puts the ball into play in a football or soccer game the opening

                         the start of something

Knapsack  a bag with shoulder straps, carried on the back, and typically made of

                        canvas or other weatherproof material


Landslide –  1. a.The downward sliding of a relatively dry mass of earth and rock.

    b.The mass that slides. Also called landslip.

2. a.A percentage of votes greatly exceeding the required margin of


3. a.An election that sweeps a party or candidate into office.

   b. A great victory.

Lumberjack –          someone whose job is to cut down trees for wood

                                    A person whose work is to fell trees.


Motherland – the country in which you were born, or the country with which you feel most


Motorcycle – a vehicle with two wheels that is powered by a motor and that can carry one

                        or two people.


Nobleman – a man of noble birth or rank; a man of high rank

Newsboy – a boy who sells or delivers newspapers.


Over throw – 1. to depose, as from a position of power; overcome, defeat, or

                        vanquish: to overthrow a tyrant.

2. to put an end to by force, as a government or institution.

3. to throw or knock down; overturn; topple:

The heavy winds overthrew numerous telephone poles and trees.

Over-the-counter – (of drugslegally sold without a prescription

 (= special written instruction from a doctor):

The painkiller is available as an over-the-counter drug.


Playwright – a person who writes plays

Post Office – a place where you can buy stampssend letters and packages etc               


Quickstepdance with fast movements of the feet, or music for this dance

Quicksand wet sand that is dangerous because you sink down into it if you try to walk

                        on it


Runwaya long specially prepared hard surface like a road on which aircraft land and

                        take off

Rearrange – 1. to change the position or order of things

            She set about rearranging the furniture in the living room.

          2. to change the time of a meeting etc… 

My secretary will phone to rearrange the appointment.


Search Engine – a computer program that helps you find information on the Internet

Screenplay – the words that are written down for actors to say in a film, and

                        the instructions that tell them what they should do


Touchdown – 1 the moment at which a plane or spacecraft lands

2 an act of putting the ball down on the ground behind     

the opposing team’s goal line in rugby   

Typewritermachine with keys that you press in order to print letters of

                        the alphabet onto paper


Upcountry – from a place without many people or towns, especially in the middle of


Upholster – to cover a chair with material


Vineyarda piece of land where grapevines are grown in order to produce wine

Vouchsafe to promise or offer something, or tell someone something that they can

                        be certain is the truth


Woodcuttersomeone whose job is to cut down trees in a forest

Watermarkspecial design put onto paper, especially bank notes, that can only be

                        seen when you hold it up to the light


Xylophonemusical instrument which consists of metal or wooden bars of

                        different lengths that you hit with a special stick


Yachtsmana man who sails a yacht

Yearbooka book printed once a year by a school or college, with information

                        and pictures about what happened there in the past year


Zero Hour – the time when a military operation or an important event is planned to begin

Zigzag – a path with sharp turns in alternating directions.

So there we go you’ve just learned some common compound words from A to Z to help improve your vocabulary.

Downloadable Material

Here’s the downloadable material of Tutorial on Compound Words: English Vocabulary here.

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