The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th Edition contains the following (on the hyphenation or otherwise of compounds):

6.38: The trend in spelling compound words has been away from the use of hyphens; there seems to be a tendency to spell compounds solid . . .

One could argue that the word 'solid' is being used as a predicative adjective here (as in the lake froze solid) - but the semantic analysis is indeterminate, in my view, between adjectival and adverbial usage of 'solid' in the CMoS usage.

AHD lists the adverb polyseme:

solid adv. 1. As a whole; unanimously: The committee voted solid for the challenger.

2.. Without a break or opening; completely or continuously: The theater was booked solid for a month.

To my surprise, Collins doesn't list it, though 'booked solid' is very common in the UK.

What word-class would people plump for in the CMoS usage - and, more importantly, what verbs (other than obvious link-verbs) may 'solid', when not obviously accompanying a noun, follow?

  • Stack Exchange does not allow private messaging, so I'll say this here. ❧ The last word of this thoughtful comment of yours contains a typo which is somewhat confusing. It's too late to edit the comment. If you wish, you might like to delete the comment and recreate it again with the typo fixed. ❧ Please flag my comment as obsolete once you have read it. :) Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 23:21
  • @unforgettableidSupportsMonica No; that was an intentional candidate / non-word, to show how ridiculous the approach would be. //// Will delete this when you've deleted the above. Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 12:43

2 Answers 2


The OED has no entry for solid as an adverb, but under its entry for solid as an adjective its definition of to book solid is ‘to sell all the tickets of (a theatre, cinema, etc.)’.

If solid cannot be an adverb, there seems to me to be no alternative to regarding it as a predicative adjective in the examples you give. But I’m not entirely confident about it.

  • 4
    That sense is 21c (in the online version, at least), and it does say that sense 21 in general is “quasi-adv.”. Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 11:19
  • 1
    Quite right. I missed that. The meaning, however, is different from solidly. Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 11:21
  • But does OED mention (quasi = “having some, but not all of the features of”) what features are missing - and how they've decided it's not better described as a quasi-adjective? Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:14
  • They do not. The description quasi-adverb is applied to a group of definitions, not just this one. Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:21
  • It sounds like 'quasi-adverb' is a weasel word. In 'Pele shot wide' (it happened at least once!), 'wide' may be interpreted as an adverb, describing the shooting process, or as an adjective, describing the end result. See finished perfect on the green Commented Oct 12, 2013 at 9:51

I would say it's a flat adverb. See for example



  • Yes - if it's an adverb, it's certainly a flat adverb, having a bigger brother 'solidly'. But sadly, neither of your links mentions it as a member of the club. Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:16
  • I consider "flat" to be a condition that can be applied to an indefinite number of adjectives to turn them into adverbs. Of course this is a debatable view, but that's common in other languages (Spanish, Italian, and I think Latin as well), which can almost freely use an adjective as an adverb. In other words: if in English we can say "talk loud and clear", is it really because the adjectives "loud" or "clear" have something special? I don't think so. I'd rather consider this to be quite general construction rule.
    – user53201
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:25
  • At lawyerist.com/be-safe-when-using-flat-adverbs is: Early Modern English [used many] flat adverbs, but the list of those still in use has shrunk significantly. Examples include: high, fast, slow, hard, easy, sure, bright, wrong, right, near, late, safe, soon. And at grammar.about.com/od/fh/g/flatadverbterm.htm "In EMnE , [flat] adverbs ... were widely used, even by careful writers. The list of acceptable plain adverbs today has shrunk to a few frequent ones, which often seem to have survived only because the corresponding form in -ly has a different meaning. C.M.Millward BiogEL Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 16:51

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