How do I have to write feed water line or feed water preheater?

"feedwater" as a single word or as two words "feed water"?

I have seen both versions in scientific publications.


As an engineer, I would use feedwater (one word). I am not entirely sure why, but I think it has to do partly with the fact that feedwater has a slightly more specific definition, not just "water that is being fed", but also involving thermal power cycles and other engineering specifics. Wikipedia appears to back me up on that.

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  • Speaking as another engineer, I agree with you that "feedwater" is the correct term to use in this context. But I would not rely on Wikipedia for validation of usage choices. Wikipedia has incorrect usages for several scientific terms, and refuses to be corrected. – Jasper Dec 24 '15 at 20:37

Feedwater is not recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary. But you can use it as a single word like how Webster has.

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  • What would be more common or is there a general rule in English language? In German (which is my native language) all compound nouns are usually written as one single word. – Stellarator Dec 1 '15 at 11:14
  • Not a native speaker myself, but there is no consistent rule in hyphenating/using a space for compound nouns, as far as I know. Let's see what our native speakers have got to say. – Caroffrey Dec 1 '15 at 11:22

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