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[verb hahy-fuh-neyt; adjective, noun hahy-fuh-nit, -neyt] /verb ˈhaɪ fəˌneɪt; adjective, noun ˈhaɪ fə nɪt, -ˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), hyphenated, hyphenating.
to join by a hyphen.
to write or divide with a hyphen.
of or relating to something of distinct form or origin that has been joined; connected by a hyphen.
Informal. a person working or excelling in more than one craft or occupation:
He's a film-industry hyphenate, usually listed as a writer-director-producer.
Origin of hyphenate
1850-55; hyphen + -ate1
Related forms
hyphenation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hyphenation
Historical Examples
  • hyphenation inconsistencies have been standardized to most frequently used.

    Armorel of Lyonesse Walter Besant
  • Unusual spelling and hyphenation in the dialect is retained as printed.

    Left Behind James Otis
  • Variations in hyphenation have been retain as in the original publication.

    Little Peter Lucas Malet
  • Inconsistencies in the hyphenation of words have been preserved.

    In Court and Kampong Hugh Clifford
  • Other than the changes listed above, printer's inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been retained.

    The Value of Money Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.
  • Any variations in spelling or hyphenation have been left as they appeared in the original.

    The Angels' Song Thomas Guthrie
  • Typographical problems have been changed and these are highlighted, as are changes made to standardise some hyphenation.

  • hyphenation, and capitalisation of proper nouns, has been made consistent.

  • Inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation and hyphenation in the original book have been retained.

    The Christmas Story from David Harum Edward Noyes Westcott
  • Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation have been retained from the original.

    Storyology Benjamin Taylor
British Dictionary definitions for hyphenation


(transitive) to separate (syllables, words, etc) with a hyphen
Derived Forms
hyphenation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hyphenation

1881, from hyphen + -ation. Hyphenization is attested from 1851.



1881, from hyphen + -ate (2). The earlier verb was simply hyphen (1814). Related: Hyphenated; hyphenating. Hyphenated American is attested from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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