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compound (verb) to make an already bad situation worse and more difficult for a person; to make something by mixing two or more other things; to collect interest both on the principal amount and the interest thereon.

When a person's difficulties are made worse, their difficulties are compounded. Imagine a person who has lost their job. They may not get another job for another month, so have little money. Their savings are not enough for them to see through the month. Just then the bank demands the payment of the installments on the loan taken. The refrigerator and the air conditioner break down, and need money to be repaired. In such a situation the person's difficulties are compounded. A substance is compounded of something, if it is formed from the thing. For example, human and animal bones are compounded of calcium, and their teeth, of dentine. That is, their bones are made of calcium and their teeth, of dentine. When new medicines are compounded of some substances, they are formed from those substances. When the interest is calculated on the principal amount and the interest thereon, the interest is compounded.

  • Already in deep trouble because of the losses in his business, and the death of his son, the fire that destroyed his factory increased his misery and compounded his sorrows.
  • The manufacturers of the popular brand of soap claim that they have improved the soap by compounding with it, a new chemical which is an effective bactericide.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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