An option contract on an option contract. There are four basic types: a call on a call; a put on a call; a call on a put; and a put on a put. A compound option has two expiration dates and two strikes. There are also two premiums: one paid up front and the other paid if the underlying option is exercised. It is often used in markets where there are doubts on the risk for the underlying option, such as currency or fixed income markets. It is also called a split-fee option.
See compound option.