com·​pos·​ite | \ käm-ˈpä-zət How to pronounce composite (audio) , kəm-ˈpä-, especially British ˈkäm-pə-zit How to pronounce composite (audio) \

Definition of composite

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : made up of distinct parts or elements a composite photograph composite materials : such as
a capitalized : relating to or being a modification of the Corinthian order combining angular Ionic volutes with the acanthus-circled bell of the Corinthian
b : of or relating to a very large family (Compositae synonym Asteraceae) of dicotyledonous herbs, shrubs, and trees often considered to be the most highly evolved plants and characterized by florets arranged in dense heads that resemble single flowers
c : factorable into two or more prime factors other than 1 and itself 8 is a positive composite integer.
2 : combining the typical or essential characteristics of individuals making up a group … the composite man called the Poet …— Richard Poirier … the knight was a composite portrait of men whom Chaucer personally knew.— John Livingston Lowes
3 of a statistical hypothesis : specifying a range of values for one or more statistical parameters — compare simple sense 10
4 of a video signal : having two signal components (such as chrominance and luminance) combined in a single channel For years, commercial television equipment has relied upon composite video cabling, which carries both brightness (luminance) and color (chroma) in a single cable. Problem is, before your television can produce a picture from this signal, it must be heavily filtered, resulting in serious degradation of image quality.Home Theater Buyer's Guide — compare component entry 2 sense 2



Definition of composite (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something composite : compound a composite of two images
2 : a composite (see composite entry 1 sense 1b) plant daisys, dandelions, and other composites
4 : a solid material which is composed of two or more substances having different physical characteristics and in which each substance retains its identity while contributing desirable properties to the whole especially : a structural material made of plastic within which a fibrous material (such as silicon carbide) is embedded


composited; compositing

Definition of composite (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make composite or into something composite composited four soil samples composite the images

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Other Words from composite


compositely adverb

Examples of composite in a Sentence


the movie's special effects included the use of many composite photographs


a composite of diverse communities He spotted a man who resembled the police composite.


wood chips can be composited or sold as mulch
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Data firm IHS Markit said its composite Purchasing Managers Index—a measure of activity in the manufacturing and services sectors—fell to 50.7 in January from 51.1 in December, its lowest level in 5½ years. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Euro Hits Lowest Level in Three Weeks," 24 Jan. 2019 Down 70% from its December high after sliding for a fourth straight day Friday, Bitcoin is getting ever-closer to matching the Nasdaq composite index’s 78% peak-to-trough plunge after the U.S. dot-com bubble burst. Bloomberg,, "Bitcoin bloodbath nears levels of dot-com bust; many tokens go to zero," 29 June 2018 The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index and the tech sector of the S.&P. 500 both fell more than 2 percent. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Stock Markets Slip on Trade Policy Fears," 25 June 2018 Full report here The euro area’s composite purchasing managers’ index climbed to 54.8 in June from 54.1 in May, according to IHS Markit. David Goodman,, "Euro-Area Economy Sees Silver Lining as Growth Momentum Picks Up," 22 June 2018 In addition, two composite indexes of the largest 10 and 20 cities across the nation showed year-over-year increases of 6.5 and 6.8 percent, respectively. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Hot housing market shows no signs of cooling off, frustrating buyers," 29 May 2018 The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has more than doubled in the past two years, close to twice the gains by the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index and three times better than the broader S&P’s 500. Ian King, The Seattle Times, "Chipmakers saved from iPhone fate by data-center building boom," 27 May 2018 Netflix shares have risen 71% so far this year, while the Nasdaq composite index has risen 6%. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Netflix briefly tops Disney as most valued entertainment company," 25 May 2018 Bitcoin declined as much as 4.2% to $5,791 on Friday, its lowest level since November, according to Bloomberg composite prices. Bloomberg,, "Bitcoin bloodbath nears levels of dot-com bust; many tokens go to zero," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Nasdaq composite added 60.16 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,729.32. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "S&P 500 posts biggest quarterly gain in a decade; Lyft soars," 31 Mar. 2019 Artists can use the open source application to layer their own instrumentals on top of the AI composite. Matt Jancer, WIRED, "More Artists Are Writing Songs in the Key of AI," 17 May 2018 Money poured in, patent filings skyrocketed and hopes were raised that graphene could change everything from electronics to carbon-fiber composites to biotechnology., "Zuckerberg Testifies Before Senate Panel," 10 Apr. 2018 The Nasdaq composite gave up 178.61 points, or 2.4 percent, to 7,166.68. Marley Jay,, "Dow closes down more than 700 points amid China trade fears," 22 Mar. 2018 The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite shed 1.7 percent to 6,908.82. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Asian shares fall on sign of escalating US-China tensions," 20 Nov. 2018 The resulting image is a composite stitched together from data collected from dozens of Proba-2 images. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Our First Look at the Sun's North Pole," 7 Dec. 2018 Fong told the California paper that the agency’s estimates for future inflation are based on a composite of figures from Moody’s, the California Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Energy. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "California bullet train project on track to blow through billions of more dollars," 31 Aug. 2018 The index is a composite of 10 forward-looking economic stats, including building permits, new factory orders and unemployment claims, and attempts to predict general economic conditions six months out. David Lazarus,, "California Inc.: How it will be, there's one for you, 19 for me — here comes the tax man," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Google This feature also taps into a burst of multiple images, and then uses Google’s Pixel Visual Core chip to composite a blur-free photo. Jon Phillips, PCWorld, "Google Pixel 3: The 5 features that matter most," 9 Oct. 2018 Smart marvels at the hype around Georgia’s most recent recruiting class, which snapped Alabama’s seven-year stranglehold on the top spot in the 247Sports composite ranking. Andy Staples,, "Kirby Smart Won't Let the Search for New Leaders Change Georgia's End Goal," 26 Mar. 2018 Facebook's issues have hurt the Nasdaq composite the most. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Stock market rattled by Facebook, other worries," 19 Mar. 2018 Georgia, currently No. 2 in the 247Sports composite behind Ohio State, has six with five-star ratings. Michael Casagrande,, "Why Alabama's run of 7 straight No. 1 recruiting classes is in serious trouble," 5 Feb. 2018 Miami’s recruiting class has a good chance to finish in the top 5 of the 247Sports composite ranking and perhaps no group is stronger than the Hurricanes running backs. David Wilson Diehards, ajc, "Miami recruiting: How Mark Walton’s injury could affect Hurricanes’ future at RB," 10 Oct. 2017 FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES - Image numbers (L) 630131844 and 619019694) In this composite image a comparision has been made between Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea (L) and Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal., "Chelsea vs Arsenal Preview as Champions Prepare to Meet London Rivals in Beijing," 19 July 2017 In the same 247Sports composite ranking, Herbert was 39th. Andrew Greif,, "Oregon QB Justin Herbert, with help from Mannings, says his confidence has improved most," 14 July 2017 COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State defensive end commit Brenton Cox of Stockbridge, Ga., earned a fifth star in his 247Sports composite ranking on Tuesday, giving Urban Meyer two five-star defensive line pledges in his 2018 recruiting class. Ari Wasserman,, "Micah Parsons and more: Looking at Ohio State's top remaining defensive line targets," 31 May 2017

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


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for composite

Adjective and Noun

Latin compositus, past participle of componere — see compose

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Statistics for composite

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for composite

The first known use of composite was in 1563

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More Definitions for composite



Financial Definition of composite

What It Is

A composite is a grouping of securities, indexes or other items.

How It Works

One of the most well-known composites in the finance world is the Dow Jones Composite Average, which is  a price-weighted average of the 65 companies that compose the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, and the Dow Jones Utility Average. The index is price-weighted, meaning that the stocks with the highest prices have the most influence on the index.

Why It Matters

Composites are broad measures and usually a convenient way to evaluate the performance of a wide array of securities, other indexes or other items. For instance, the Dow Jones Composite Index gives a good indication of the overall direction of the largest companies in the United States: It includes some of the titans of the transportation, utility, financial services, technology, retail, entertainment and consumer goods industries. As such, the index is not just a measure of market performance; some consider it an economic indicator as well.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of composite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made of different parts or elements



English Language Learners Definition of composite (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is made up of different parts
US : a drawing of someone who is wanted by the police that is made using descriptions given by witnesses


com·​pos·​ite | \ kəm-ˈpä-zət How to pronounce composite (audio) \

Kids Definition of composite

: made up of different parts or elements Concrete is a composite material made up of cement, sand, stone, and water.

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Comments on composite

What made you want to look up composite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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