Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  1. Indicates that part of a word of more than one syllable has been carried over from one line to the next:
    During the revolution, the nation was be-
    set with problems—looting, fighting, and famine.
  2. Joins the elements of some compounds: great-grandparent, attorney-at-law, ne'er-do-well.
  3. Joins the elements of compound modifiers preceding nouns: high-school students, a fire-and-brimstone lecture, a two-hour meeting.
  4. Indicates that two or more compounds share a single base: four- and six-volume sets, eight- and nine-year olds.
  5. Separates the prefix and root in some combinations; check a dictionary when in doubt about the spelling: anti-Nazi, re-elect, co-author, re-form/reform, re-cover/recover, re-creation/recreation.
  6. Substitutes for the word to between typewritten inclusive words or figures: pp. 145–155, the Boston–New York air shuttle.
  7. Punctuates written-out compound numbers from 21 through 99: forty-six years of age, a person who is forty-six, two hundred fifty-nine dollars.

See also: The Dash and the Hyphen.

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