What is the proper way to write this term when writing product documentation? Hyphenated or not?

drop down list


drop-down list?

3 Answers 3


If it's just the compound adjective, use drop-down list.

Note, however, that there are classes of components in various frameworks that are called DropDown or DropDownList or various alternatives of the same thing. In such cases use the framework name as is.

  • so we can use DropDown instead of Dropdown on the "react.js" components name?
    – nima
    Nov 19, 2020 at 15:23
  • 1
    @novonimo: I would spell it the same way the react.js documentation does, if it is a registered component. If it is not a case-sensitive class name, but is instead a generic term, I'd just lowercase the whole thing.
    – Robusto
    Nov 19, 2020 at 15:26

In the dictionary it's drop-down: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drop-down

Also "drop-down" prevails on tech websites like apple.com or microsoft.com.

I think that this is the best indicator: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=drop-down%2C+drop+down&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=

  • 2
    The google-books link only compare the drop-down vs "drop down". Here's the full link, also comparing dropdown (combined): books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – iJungleBoy
    Nov 22, 2017 at 7:49

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, it is drop-down, but it also shows dropdown. — http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drop-down "drop-down or dropdown noun, plural drop-downs or dropdowns "


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