Hyphens: Combining Forms

Common combining forms joined to words without a hyphen:

ge(o)-
-like*
maxi-
-proof
pseud(o)-
-scape
-side
-ware
-wise**
-work
-worthy

*Use a hyphen with like when it is joined to a proper name or is noted in the stylebook.

Tokyo-like
Reagan-like

**The suffix wise does not take a hyphen when used to mean “in the manner of” or “relating to.”
(updated 9/24/13)

Budgetwise, a design-build firm is the the best option.
Colorwise, she has always stuck with blues.
Moneywise, we were in better shape three years ago.

**The suffix wise does take a hyphen when used to mean “smart.”
(updated 9/24/13)

A color-wise friend suggested orange accents.
Money-wise homeowners are focusing on energy efficiency.

Use a hyphen with all-, quasi-, and self-.

all-inclusive
quasi-public
self-righteous

Mini can stand alone (as an adjective) unless it’s combined in Webster’s 11th or on the Word List.

miniblind
miniskirt
miniseries
mini pantry
mini kitchen
mini greenhouse

If confusion might result, mini may occasionally be hyphenated:
mini-print wallpaper, as opposed to mini print wallpaper, which might be misunderstood as very small wallpaper rather than wallpaper with a very small print.

 

 


Hyphens
Combining forms
Line-break rules
Prefixes
Suffixes

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