1 of 2


com·​po·​nent kəm-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce component (audio)
: a constituent part : ingredient
an important component of the program
stereo components
: any one of the vector terms added to form a vector sum or resultant
: a coordinate of a vector
also : either member of an ordered pair of numbers
componential adjective


2 of 2


: serving or helping to constitute : constituent
component parts
of a video signal : split into multiple channels each carrying one particular set of data (such as one channel for black and white and one for color)
component input
compare composite entry 1 sense 4
Choose the Right Synonym for component

element, component, constituent, ingredient mean one of the parts of a compound or complex whole.

element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity.

the basic elements of geometry

component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character.

the components of a stereo system

constituent stresses its essential and formative character.

the constituents of a chemical compound

ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture.

the ingredients of a cocktail

Examples of component in a Sentence

Noun the components of an electric circuit He sells spare computer components. The interview is a key component in the hiring process. Hard work has been a major component of his success. Adjective the component parts of a machine
Recent Examples on the Web
Nuts belong to the protein food group and may act as a key protein component in vegetarian diets. Delaney Nothaft, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 Unlike delta 9, which is the main psychoactive component in marijuana, delta 8 is much less potent. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 8 Sep. 2023 Update September 6, 2023: The album component of Drake’s perfect cozy evening (Drake’s whiskey + Drake’s poetry + Drake’s album) finally has a release date. Vulture, 7 Sep. 2023 Partnering with the University of Arizona, where Hancock earned his doctorate, SDL developed the detector assemblies and electrical components behind the lenses of the uncrewed spacecraft’s three cameras, known collectively as the OCAMS. Jeff Parrott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Sep. 2023 Apple is the biggest component in major US equity indexes, adding to a broader selloff sparked in part by a litany of woes in China. Subrat Patnaik, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2023 The sum of victims’ financial losses are a key component in federal sentencing guidelines that govern cases like this. Jmanning, oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2023 And other possible uses for the granules are being explored, such as using them in mulch, building materials such as stucco and siding, and even components in furniture. CBS News, 6 Sep. 2023 Some observers professed whiplash at OpenAI’s one-two punch: creating a for-profit component and reaching an exclusive deal with Microsoft. Steven Levy, WIRED, 5 Sep. 2023
And as Golosio and his team knew, an ANN designed around a multi-component working memory model could be a powerful tool for processing and creating human-like communication. Ben Thomas, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2015 Perceptual convergence of multi-component mixtures in olfaction implies an olfactory white. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2012 The layout by Oakland design studio Open Daily is clean; even more complicated recipes, like Henry Hsu’s multi-component cornerstone rice cakes, are easy to follow. Soleil Ho,, 9 Nov. 2020 By the '70s, motorists could buy component parts to convert older models into unique classics. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, 21 Oct. 2019 Once Cerar stepped down as prime minister earlier this year and the squabbling of coalition partners disappeared from the headlines, his image as a decent and component prime minister returned. Tim Haughton, Washington Post, 5 June 2018 See More

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

Word History


Noun and Adjective

Latin component-, componens, present participle of componere to put together — more at compound

First Known Use


1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of component was in 1645

Dictionary Entries Near component

Cite this Entry

“Component.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
com·​po·​nent kəm-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce component (audio)
: a part or element of something
components of an electric circuit
components of a meal


2 of 2 adjective
: being or forming a part : constituent

Medical Definition


: a constituent part
the exocrine and endocrine components of the pancreas

More from Merriam-Webster on component

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