hyphen (plural hyphens)
- Symbol "-", typically used to join two or more words to form a compound term, or to indicate that a word has been split at the end of a line.
- (figuratively) Something that links two more consequential things.
Because the original symbol "-" (technically the hyphen-minus) covered usages aside from hyphenation there have been additional subsequent symbols created for hyphenation needs. They include the "‐" (hyphen), ‑ (non-breaking hyphen) and the non-visible soft hyphen.
- (colloquial) Used to refer to a person with a hyphenated name
- Used to emphasize the coordinating function usually indicated by the punctuation "-".
1945, Robert Gessner, Youth is the time:
- You are sitting at the wrong table, if I may be so bold, among the misguided who believe in the mass murder of mentalities, otherwise known as the liberal arts hyphen vocational training hyphen education.
1950, Cleveland Amory, Home town:
- Ax was now a Hollywood hyphenated man. An actor hyphen director hyphen writer.
1983, Linda Crawford, Vanishing acts:
- He described himself as a poet-composer and actually said the word hyphen when he did so: "I'm a poet hyphen composer.
1983, David S. Reiss, M*A*S*H: the exclusive, inside story of TV's most popular show:
- He is an actor (hyphen) writer (hyphen) director. In the fifth year of the series Alan Alda added another title to his growing list — that of creative consultant.
2007, Stephen M. Murphy, What If Holden Caulfield Went to Law School?, page 65:
- One reason he has avoided reading legal thrillers is that “they seem really to have been written by lawyer-hyphen-authors.”
hyphen m (plural hyphens)
- Old symbol with the shape of a curved stroke, formerly used in French instead of the modern hyphen, with the same function.