composition

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

Definition of composition

1a : the act or process of composing specifically : arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form the painting's unique composition
b(1) : the arrangement of type for printing hand composition
(2) : the production of type or typographic characters (as in photocomposition) arranged for printing
2a : the manner in which something is composed
b : general makeup the changing ethnic composition of the city's population
c : the qualitative and quantitative makeup of a chemical compound the chemical composition of a polymer
3 : mutual settlement or agreement The two parties came to a composition.
4 : a product of mixing or combining various elements or ingredients a composition of rubber and cork
5 : an intellectual creation: such as
a : a piece of writing especially : a school exercise in the form of a brief essay wrote a composition on the role of the police in our society
b : a written piece of music especially of considerable size and complexity Her composition for piano and flute was played at the recital.
6 : the quality or state of being compound
7 : the operation of forming a composite function also : composite function

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Other Words from composition

compositional \ ˌkäm-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
compositionally adverb

Synonyms for composition

Synonyms

number, opus, piece, work

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Examples of composition in a Sentence

the changing composition of the country's population the composition of a chemical compound The teacher reminded us to hand in our compositions at the end of class.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The report comes amid intensified debate over the composition of workforces at prosperous and influential Silicon Valley tech companies. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "Google’s Employee Diversity Numbers Haven’t Really Improved," 14 June 2018 Organizers ultimately decided that, given the Republican composition of the NLRB and the Trump administration’s anti-labor bent, the risk was too great. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Education Workers on Campuses Around the Country Are Demanding Better Labor Conditions," 10 Jan. 2019 That fact puts a sense of urgency on knowing the composition of near-Earth asteroids like Bennu. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Spacecraft That's About to Play Tag with an Asteroid," 16 Nov. 2018 In fact, any glimpse into Homer before medieval times is rare, and any insight into the composition of the epics is precious. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet," 11 July 2018 Jones and her colleagues found that the gender composition of teams was strongly associated with its level of cooperation. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "‘You, me, parking lot!’: Behind surgical curtain, researchers find hierarchies and gender dynamics driving conflict," 2 July 2018 Point guard has to be the higher priority, if only because of the current composition of the Suns’ roster. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns: Five questions as NBA free agency approaches," 29 June 2018 The composition of that trio may change, but the internet mock consensus has settled, for the time being, on Porter Jr. somewhere below the top three. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft Superlatives: Biggest Sleeper, Safest Pick And More," 14 June 2018 His ragtime compositions and symphonies are wonderful music. Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times, "Philharmonia Northwest presents old and new music created entirely by Seattle composers," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'composition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of composition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for composition

Middle English composicioun, from Anglo-French composicion, from Latin composition-, compositio, from componere — see compose

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for composition

The first known use of composition was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for composition

composition

noun

English Language Learners Definition of composition

: 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

composition

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

Kids Definition of composition

1 : a short piece of writing done as a school exercise
2 : the act of writing words or music
3 : the manner in which the parts of a thing are put together : makeup, constitution The president discussed the population's changing composition. Each rock has a slightly different composition.
4 : a literary, musical, or artistic production

composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion

Legal Definition of composition

: an agreement between an insolvent debtor and several creditors whereby partial payment of the debts discharges in full the original obligations — compare accord sense 3, compromise

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