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
5 : an artist's sketch or digitally generated image of a criminal suspect usually created from witnesses's 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



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


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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective He was also given five stars in the latest composite rankings. Robert Fenbers, cleveland, "4-star 2022 RB Damari Alston eyeing June’s Buckeye Bash 2.0 for long-awaited visit to Columbus: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup," 5 Apr. 2021 Phillips, first attending UCLA, was once the top recruit nationally in the 2017 class, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. David Furones,, "Which Hurricanes DE will go first in NFL draft? Making the case for Gregory Rousseau, Jaelan Phillips," 3 Apr. 2021 Noland was ranked as a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "The Dallas Morning News’ 2020-21 all-area boys basketball teams: See full first, second and third teams," 2 Apr. 2021 Finkley is currently the No. 6 recruit in the state for the Class of 2022, according to the 247 composite rankings. Ben Thomas |, al, "No joke: Hewitt-Trussville 4-star DE Justice Finkley has big official visits set," 2 Apr. 2021 The four-man group headlined by IMG Academy four-star guard Tamar Bates is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 11 in the nation, per the 247Sports composite rankings. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas' Shaka Smart preparing to leave for Marquette," 26 Mar. 2021 That takes time — and means that the results provided by these samplers are not real-time snapshots but composite portraits of a building over the previous two or 12 or 24 hours. Emily Anthes, New York Times, "The Next Trick: Pulling Coronavirus Out of Thin Air," 24 Mar. 2021 Silenseas’ patented solid-sail system comprises several composite panels hinged together to allow for automatic folding. Jemima Sissons, Robb Report, "New Luxury Cruise Liners Will Be Powered by Giant Solid Sails," 22 Mar. 2021 The composite shaft is light and tough—Minn Kota guarantees it for life. Field & Stream, "Best Kayak Motor to Fit the Way You Fish," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That changes next year, when Baylor adds three top 100 recruits, as ranked by the 247Sports composite, led by 6-8 Kendall Brown, ranked as the nation’s 15th best recruit. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "A drop-off may be inevitable, but Baylor could still be a formidable contender next season," 6 Apr. 2021 The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.8 percent, bringing its gain over the past two days to more than 3 percent. Matt Phillips, New York Times, "Wall Street Hits Another Record, Lifted by Tech Rally and Economic Optimism," 1 Apr. 2021 The Nasdaq composite climbed 196.68 points, or 1.6%, to 12,920.15. Alex Veiga, ajc, "Tech rebound pulls stocks out of a slump and to weekly gain," 5 Mar. 2021 Alabama signed four of the top nine receivers, according to the 247Sports composite. Michael Casagrande |, al, "The simple reason Alabama needed WRs, then signed 4 of top 9 in the country," 17 Dec. 2020 Jones is ranked No. 173 in 2021, according to the 247Sports composite. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette signs what could be its backcourt of the future, including a recruit who has never been to Milwaukee.," 11 Nov. 2020 Whoever the new coach is will be tasked with keeping together a four-person 2021 recruiting class that’s ranked 27th nationally and sixth in the Big East in the composite. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Dave Leitao is fired as DePaul basketball coach after 9 seasons covering 2 stints," 15 Mar. 2021 The holy androgynous composite of the two deities was so important to the community that local people replaced it with a poor replica. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "FBI and Dallas Museum of Art team up to send stolen artwork back to Nepal," 5 Mar. 2021 That’s how much the DJIA gained in 2020, while the S&P 500 index jumped 16.3% and, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite surged 43.6%. Palash Ghosh, Forbes, "Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index To Double Number Of Components—Experts Say The Dow Jones Industrial Average Should Follow," 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq composite all plunged more than 7% on Monday. Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, "Pressure builds on White House to roll back tariffs to stem economic fallout from coronavirus," 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,, "Stocks extend rally, sending S&P 500, Nasdaq to all-time highs," 5 Feb. 2020 The senior linebacker also moved up to a four-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ranking. Adam Lichtenstein,, "‘He’s like a 10-year pro’ — Ruben Hyppolite emerging as a leader for McArthur," 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, "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

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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Time Traveler for composite

Time Traveler

The first known use of composite was in 1563

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Statistics for composite

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Composite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for composite



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

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