composition

noun

com·​po·​si·​tion ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce composition (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
compositional
ˌkäm-pə-ˈzish-nəl How to pronounce composition (audio)
-ˈzi-shə-nᵊl
adjective
compositionally adverb

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The composition derives from Florentine Renaissance portraiture, where the subject is seen in profile seated before a window, through which a verdant landscape unfurls. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024 The composition was inspired by a Byzantine floor mosaic discovered by a farmer in 2022 in the Gaza Strip. Zoe Ruffner Camille Sojit Pejcha Zoe Ruffner Kyle Beechey Osman Can Yerebakan Samuel Rutter, New York Times, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for composition 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'composition.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near composition

Cite this Entry

“Composition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/composition. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion ˌkäm-pə-ˈzish-ən How to pronounce composition (audio)
1
: the act or process of composing
2
: the manner in which the parts of a thing are put together : makeup
the composition of a painting
3
: the elements of a compound
the composition of rubber
4
: a product of combining ingredients : combination
a composition made of several different metals
5
: a literary, musical, or artistic production
especially : a short piece of writing done as a school exercise

Legal Definition

composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion
: 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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