compose

verb com·pose \ kəm-ˈpōz \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of compose

composed; composing
transitive verb
1 a : to form by putting together : fashion
  • a committee composed of three representatives
  • Current Biography
b : to form the substance of : constitute
  • composed of many ingredients
c : to produce (columns, pages of type, etc.) by composition
2 a : 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.

Examples of compose in a Sentence

  1. She composed a letter to her sister.

  2. He is in his studio composing.

Recent Examples of compose from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of compose

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


COMPOSE Defined for English Language Learners

compose

verb

Definition of compose for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

compose

verb com·pose \ kəm-ˈpōz \

Definition of compose for Students

composed; composing
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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