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 compositional (audio) , -​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 blueish color of each diamond varies depending on each pet’s unique chemical composition and can range from a dark cerulean to a pale blue. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Turn Your Pet Into a Diamond After They Pass Away," 1 Apr. 2019 There are seemingly billions of love songs in existence, but there are definitely not as many compositions that capture the incredibly nuanced, specific love between a father and daughter. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "18 Father-Daughter Dance Songs That'll Have Everyone Crying at Your Wedding," 24 Jan. 2019 Nearly every scene features an extremely regimented composition. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018 The very same idea informed the composition of the downtown department stores that began appearing in American cities and were fixtures in most urban environments by the turn of the 20th century. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 Those changes include weaker bargaining power for workers, as well as changes in the composition of the workforce that could create more slack than is measured by the unemployment rate. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "New York Fed Chief Calls for Reassessing Inflation-Targeting Framework," 22 Feb. 2019 Image Robby Müller, the Dutch cinematographer whose inventive use of lighting and artful approach to composition were consistent elements of films by directors like Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch, died on July 3 at his home in Amsterdam. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Robby Müller, Inventive Cinematographer, Is Dead at 78," 10 July 2018 Specialty differences, the study showed, cannot be considered in isolation from the gender composition of those departments. Orly Nadell Farber, STAT, "‘You, me, parking lot!’: Behind surgical curtain, researchers find hierarchies and gender dynamics driving conflict," 2 July 2018 Privacy - Terms The answer lies in the composition of one of mankind’s most prolific materials: concrete. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "How a 20-minute fire in the fatal I-84 crash ruined a concrete overpass," 22 June 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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Statistics for composition

Last Updated

17 Apr 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 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

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