compose

verb
com·​pose | \ kəm-ˈpōz How to pronounce compose (audio) \
composed; composing

Definition of compose

transitive verb

1a : to form by putting together : fashion a committee composed of three representativesCurrent Biography
b : to form the substance of : constitute composed of many ingredients
c : to produce (columns, pages of type, etc.) by composition
2a : to create by mental or artistic labor : produce compose a sonnet
b(1) : to formulate and write (a piece of music) composed a symphony
(2) : to compose music for
3 : to deal with or act on so as to reduce to a minimum compose their differences
4 : to arrange in proper or orderly form The two men had laid him on the bed, and composed his limbs.— Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
5 : to free from agitation : calm, settle composed himself Life moves on, … and one must compose oneself to meet it …— Rose Macaulay

intransitive verb

: to practice composition (as of literary, musical, or typographical work) At the age of 10, he was composing at the piano.

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Examples of compose in a Sentence

She composed a letter to her sister. He is in his studio composing.

Recent Examples on the Web

Even objects for the home were reduced to their most functional forms: Marianne Brandt’s tea service, created in the mid-1920s, is composed solely of its most essential shapes. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 100-Year-Old German Art School That’s Still Influencing the Fashion World," 13 Feb. 2019 Even objects for the home were reduced to their most functional forms: Marianne Brandt’s tea service, created in the mid-1920s, is composed solely of its most essential shapes. Todd Plummer, Town & Country, "One Century Later, Bauhaus Is Still a Major Fashion Influence," 13 Feb. 2019 The religious institutions serve a population composed almost entirely of expatriate workers from Asia, Europe and beyond. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "In Arab Nation, Christians, Buddhists and Jews Emerge to Worship," 27 Jan. 2019 In a 2013 talk at New York's Museum of Math, DeRose said Merida's bright red curls in Brave were composed of 100,000 units, meaning there were 10 billion possible collisions. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New software will let artists control how light interacts with objects," 30 Nov. 2018 Ford is scheduled to testify Thursday before the committee, which is composed mostly of men. Juliet Linderman, The Seattle Times, "Hearing on Kavanaugh allegations puts #MeToo to the test," 25 Sep. 2018 In the royal collection — which is composed of paintings, photographs, portraits, tapestries, gems, and jewels from their tours and ventures around the world — the Queen possesses an impressive amount of jewels, brooches, tiaras, and so much more. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "A Look at How Queen Elizabeth Has Amassed Such a Large Net Worth," 26 July 2018 In the 1970s, the visual artist Constant Nieuwenhuys built on these concepts to imagine New Babylon, a utopian, anti-capitalist network of cities composed entirely of leisure spaces. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Play it forward," 18 July 2018 There are a few theories about why bipartisan marriages are often composed of a Democratic male and a Republican female. New York Times, "Margaret Hoover and John Avlon on their Post-Partisan Marriage," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compose.' 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 compose

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for compose

Middle English, from Anglo-French composer, from Latin componere (perfect indicative composui) — more at compound

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Statistics for compose

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for compose

The first known use of compose was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for compose

compose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of compose

: to come together to form or make (something)
: to create and write (a piece of music or writing)
: to practice the art of writing music

compose

verb
com·​pose | \ kəm-ˈpōz How to pronounce compose (audio) \
composed; composing

Kids Definition of compose

1 : to form by putting together compose a team
2 : to be the parts or materials of This cloth is composed of silk and wool.
3 : to create and write compose a song compose a letter
4 : to make calm : get under control Although the news is shocking, I'll try to compose myself.

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More from Merriam-Webster on compose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for compose

Spanish Central: Translation of compose

Nglish: Translation of compose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compose for Arabic Speakers

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