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 daisies, 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
5 : an artist's sketch or digitally generated image of a criminal suspect usually created from witnesses' descriptions and used to help police identify and apprehend the suspect a police composite Police have released a composite of the suspect based on a description from the victim of the April 4 robbery.— Jim Jaworski


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

Other Words from composite


compositely adverb

Examples of composite in a Sentence

Adjective the movie's special effects included the use of many composite photographs Noun a composite of diverse communities He spotted a man who resembled the police composite. Verb wood chips can be composited or sold as mulch
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The state’s latest composite estimate of the virus’s effective transmission number is 1.16 in San Diego, a bit higher than the state average of 1.12. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 May 2022 To compensate, scientists this time had to use new tools and software to create the composite image. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, 12 May 2022 That’s all thanks to the marque’s signature aluminum chassis and lightweight composite bodywork. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 9 May 2022 Her team created a custom, composite mural using elements from dozens of classical paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum. Meredith Blakestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 The steps are formed from all-weather composite lumber; the porch decking is ipe, a Brazilian wood prized for its durability. Sarah Egge, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 May 2022 Any hardscape in full sun warms up, especially composite decking and pavers. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 The Harris County Sheriff's Office circulated a composite sketch based on the family's description, but a later tip implicated Woodruffe and Black, who are both African American. CBS News, 30 Apr. 2022 Check out the best remaining players on our composite big board. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Agbaji and McCormack were part of Bill Self's heralded 2018 recruiting class — fifth nationally in the 247 Sports composite — but were far from the headliners. John Marshall,, 4 Apr. 2022 However, the four-star prospect ranked No. 352 in the 247 Sports national composite for the 2020 class may have faced an uphill climb to a bigger role in his third season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 4 Apr. 2022 The Nasdaq composite gained 3.8% to 13,436.55 for its biggest daily gain in 16 months. Joe Mcdonald, ajc, 17 Mar. 2022 The Nasdaq composite gained 221.04 points, or 1.6%, to 13,694.62 after swinging between modest gains and losses. Arkansas Online, 26 Feb. 2022 Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 1% higher. Stan Choe, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Mar. 2022 The market composite index -- a measure of total loan application volume -- decreased 1.3% from a week earlier, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 15 Apr. 2022 Black students’ composite and science scores remained the same, while English and math scores declined. Trisha Powell Crain |, al, 7 Apr. 2022 Hispanic students’ composite, science and English scores rose, while scores in math and reading declined. Trisha Powell Crain |, al, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s not an exaggeration to say that today a creator can create a graphic or animation with their phone and composite it into a video with better resolution than what the creators of the 1990s TV show Babylon 5 could do. Nathaniel Hunter, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Of the 21 Tide players ranked within the top 50 by 247 Sports’ industry composite the past three classes (2020-22), six have been outside linebackers -- two more than any other position group. Mike Rodak |, al, 29 Mar. 2022 The Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq composite all plunged more than 7% on Monday. Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, 10 Mar. 2020 The Dow Jones industrial average climbed more than 480 points and the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite each hit an all-time high. Alex Veiga,, 5 Feb. 2020 The senior linebacker also moved up to a four-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ranking. Adam Lichtenstein,, 31 July 2019 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, 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,, 26 Mar. 2018 Facebook's issues have hurt the Nasdaq composite the most. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2018 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for composite

Time Traveler

The first known use of composite was in 1563

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Dictionary Entries Near composite



composite cone

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Statistics for composite

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Composite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for composite


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on composite

Nglish: Translation of composite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of composite for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about composite


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