composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce composition (audio) \

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 How to pronounce composition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
compositionally adverb

Synonyms for composition

Synonyms

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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 There were six justices in its first session, and at different points in the 19th century, Congress changed the court’s size, briefly expanding it to 10 members in 1863 before its composition was set at nine in 1867. Jess Bravin, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 Nottage grew up in this home, at a time when Boerum Hill was still solidly working class, on a block that was racially mixed but more Black and Latino than white, the reverse of its current composition. Susan Dominus Photographs By Joshua Kissi Styled By Ian Bradley Sasha Weiss Photographs By Collier Schorr Styled By Jay Massacret Megan O’grady Portrait By Mickalene Thomas And Racquel Chevremont Ligaya Mishan Photographs By Tina Barney, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 In their composition, the two molecules were the same, but the mirror-image molecule affected the human body in different, injurious ways. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 6 Oct. 2021 That desolate fact is the point that Wonder’s composition raises. Armond White, National Review, 25 Nov. 2020 This in turn caused the objects to emit X-rays, helping the scientists determine their composition by revealing the elements of the obsidian. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 6 Oct. 2021 In one segment, his composition asks each string player to play as a soloist (rather than bowing in unison as sections are usually asked to do). Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Sep. 2021 Once the team understood how the enzymes worked and in what part of the DNA their chemical composition was encoded, the next step was to figure out how the enzymes could be altered. Erik Kobayashi-solomon, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Marchis said Kleopatra’s unusual shape is a clue to its composition. NBC News, 14 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for composition

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

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Dictionary Entries Near composition

composite sailing

composition

compositionist

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Statistics for composition

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Composition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/composition. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce composition (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on composition

Nglish: Translation of composition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of composition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about composition

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