Compound Words Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Compound Words Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples
Coming up next: Root Words: Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 What Are Compound Words?
  • 0:27 How Do Compound Words Work?
  • 1:17 Making Compound Words
  • 2:00 Identifying Compound Words
  • 2:46 Compound Words Are All…
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

In today's lesson, you'll learn about words known as compound words. You'll learn what they are and how they work. Then you'll take a look at some examples and practice what you've learned.

What Are Compound Words?

I saw a seashell down by the seashore.

What do seashell and seashore have in common? They are compound words.

Compound words are two smaller words put together to make a bigger word. This bigger compound word is special because it has its own meaning, or definition.

When we put sea and shell together, we get seashell.

When we put sea and shore together, we get seashore.

How Do Compound Words Work?

As we said, to make a compound word, we put two smaller words together. However, you should know that not all smaller words can be joined together to make compound words. The compound word has to be a real word that makes sense and has an actual meaning. For example, the smaller words dog and cat cannot be put together because 'dogcat' is not a real word.

Which of these words is a compound word?

  • glamorous
  • giraffe
  • cupcake

Glamorous is a long word and has three syllables, but it can't be broken into two separate words. So, that's not it.

What about giraffe? It is a medium-sized word and has two syllables. Can it be broken into two separate words? No, so that's not the compound word.

What about cupcake? Cup + cake = cupcake, so cupcake is the compound word!

Making Compound Words

Now we are going to put some smaller words to make a new word with its own meaning:

  • Water + melon = watermelon
  • Super + hero = superhero
  • Soft + ball = softball
  • Mail + box = mailbox

Now, let's take the compound word and decide which two smaller words were put together:

  • Snowboard = snow + board
  • Sunlight = sun + light
  • Birthday = birth + day
  • Tailgate = tail + gate

Now, think about these words: wildflower, zookeeper, and tiptoe. We can look at these compound words and separate them into two smaller words.

Identifying Compound Words

Let's find the 5 compound words in this sentence:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account