noun com·po·si·tion \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\

: the way in which something is put together or arranged : the combination of parts or elements that make up something

: a piece of writing; especially : a brief essay written as a school assignment

: a written piece of music and especially one that is very long or complex

Full Definition of COMPOSITION

a :  the act or process of composing; specifically :  arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form
b (1) :  the arrangement of type for printing <hand composition>
(2) :  the production of type or typographic characters (as in photocomposition) arranged for printing
a :  the manner in which something is composed
b :  general makeup <the changing ethnic composition of the city — Leonard Buder>
c :  the qualitative and quantitative makeup of a chemical compound
:  mutual settlement or agreement
:  a product of mixing or combining various elements or ingredients
:  an intellectual creation: as
a :  a piece of writing; especially :  a school exercise in the form of a brief essay
b :  a written piece of music especially of considerable size and complexity
:  the quality or state of being compound
:  the operation of forming a composite function; also :  composite function
com·po·si·tion·al \-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nəl\ adjective
com·po·si·tion·al·ly adverb


  1. the changing composition of the country's population
  2. the composition of a chemical compound
  3. The teacher reminded us to hand in our compositions at the end of class.


Middle English composicioun, from Anglo-French composicion, from Latin composition-, compositio, from componere
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Printing Terms

epigraph, errata, leader, mechanical, notch, tittle, underscore, widow
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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