THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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COMPOUND (from Lat. componere, to combine or put together), a combination of various elements, substances or ingredients, so as to form one composite whole. A “chemical compound” is a substance which can be resolved into simple constituents, as opposed to an element which cannot be so resolved (see Chemistry); a word is said to be a “compound” when it is made up of different words or parts of different words. The term is also used in an adjectival form with many applications; a “compound engine” is one where the expansion of the steam is effected in two or more stages (see Steam-engine); in zoology, the “compound eye” possessed by insects and crustacea is one which is made up of several ocelli or simple eyes, set together so that the whole has the appearance of being faceted (see Eye); in botany, the “compound leaf” has two or more separate blades on a common leaf-stalk; in surgery, in a “compound fracture” the skin is broken as well as the bone, and there is a communication between the two. There are many mathematical and arithmetical uses of the term, particularly of those forms of addition, multiplication, division and subtraction which deal with quantities of more than one denomination. Compound interest is interest paid upon interest, the accumulation of interest forming, as it were, a secondary principal. The verb “to compound” is used of the arrangement or settlement of differences, and especially of an agreement made to accept or to pay part of a debt in full discharge of the whole, and thus of the arrangement made by an insolvent debtor with his creditors (see Bankruptcy); similarly of the substitution of one payment for annual or other periodic payments,—thus subscriptions, university or other dues, &c., may be “compounded”; a particular instance of this is the system of “compounding” for rates, where the occupier of premises pays an increased rent, and the owner makes himself responsible for the payment of the rates. The householder who thus compounds with the owner of the premises he occupies is known as a “compound householder.” The payment of poor rate forming part of the qualification necessary for the parliamentary franchise in the United Kingdom, various statutes, leading up to the Compound Householders Act 1851, have enabled such occupiers to claim to be placed on the rate. In law, to compound a felony is to agree with the felon not to prosecute him for his crime, in return for valuable consideration, or, in the case of a theft, on return of the goods stolen. Such an agreement is a misdemeanour and is punishable with fine and imprisonment.

The name “compounders” was given during the reign of William III. of England to the members of a Jacobite faction, who were prepared to restore James II. to the throne, on the condition of an amnesty and an undertaking to preserve the constitution. Until 1853, in the university of Oxford, those possessing private incomes of a certain amount paid special dues for their degrees, and were known as Grand and Petty Compounders.

The corruption “compound” (from the Malay kampung or kampong, a quarter of a village) is the name applied to the enclosed ground, whether garden or waste, which surrounds an Anglo-Indian house. In India the European quarter, as a rule, is separate from the native quarter, and consists of a number of single houses, each standing in a compound, sometimes many acres in extent.


Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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