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com·​pos·​ite käm-ˈpä-zət How to pronounce composite (audio)
especially British
ˈkäm-pə-zit How to pronounce composite (audio)
: made up of distinct parts or elements
a composite photograph
composite materials
: such as
capitalized : relating to or being a modification of the Corinthian order combining angular Ionic volutes with the acanthus-circled bell of the Corinthian
: 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
: factorable into two or more prime factors other than 1 and itself
8 is a positive composite integer.
: 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
of a statistical hypothesis : specifying a range of values for one or more statistical parameters compare simple sense 10
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
compositely adverb


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: something composite : compound
a composite of two images
: a composite (see composite entry 1 sense 1b) plant
daisies, dandelions, and other composites
: 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
: 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


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composited; compositing

transitive verb

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

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
In 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted two billboards in the Phoenix area of a composite sketch to help assist with her identification, which didn’t generate any leads. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 The composite safety toe meets ASTM impact and crushing standards. Bob Beacham, Field & Stream, 1 Nov. 2023 How exactly Fandom crunched various data sets into a single composite score is a bit murky. Todd Spangler, Variety, 20 Sep. 2023 After getting boat-raced by first-place Houston by a composite score of 39-10 in a three-game sweep, the Rangers did get a day to catch their breath. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2023 Steel is often less expensive, but composite is lighter. Bob Beacham, Field & Stream, 1 Nov. 2023 The average composite score fell to 19.5 out of a possible 36 for the class of 2023, according to the nonprofit ACT. Athena Jones, CNN, 13 Oct. 2023 Students in Arkansas' high school Class of 2023 earned a composite score of 18.6 on the ACT college entrance exam, down 0.2 point from the 18.8 earned by the state's previous Class of 2022 on the exams that are scored from 1 to 36. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 12 Oct. 2023 More than one person saw the man on the trail, and the composite sketch was made based on their accounts, according to Dunlap. Meredith Deliso, ABC News, 11 Oct. 2023
Chicago, New York, and Detroit saw the largest year-over-year basis percentage increase, with the Windy City securing the highest year-over-year increase among the index’s 20-city composite for the fourth month in a row at a 5% gain. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 2 Nov. 2023 The bladders are also far cheaper to build than a design made from lightweight composites like carbon fiber. Evan Williams, Ars Technica, 31 Oct. 2023 Both dramatic adaptations compress the book’s two inmates into one composite — and both jettison the public policy content in favor of a more timeless (if also blander) meditation on trust and forgiveness. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 And the garden where the women idle isn’t a single space but a vertiginous composite of several spaces whose angles defy the laws of physics. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 Although the character of Paloma is based on an actual child prodigy, other student characters are composites, so the dynamic between her and Nico feels like a screenwriter’s construct. Pat Padua, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2023 The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 171 points, or 0.5%, as of 11 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was 1% lower. Stan Choe, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2023 That national composite is down from 19.8 in the preceding high school graduating class after being as high as 21 in both 2014 and 2015. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 12 Oct. 2023 Despite a sensitive performance by Kitsch and a thrillingly over-the-top one by Shihabi, none of them transcend the generic composites they’re written as. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Aug. 2023
The live-action scenes were then composited together using Photoshop, and set extensions were completed with Maya software. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Sep. 2023 That's where Cameron's love of high-tech effects came into play: The actors performed the engine scenes in front of a green screen, and their images were composited into footage of the SS Jeremiah O'Brien blown up to the appropriate size. Katie Rife,, 27 Apr. 2023 The movie’s water toolset, facial systems and depth compositing all received nods. Karen Idelson, Variety, 15 Feb. 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'composite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective and Noun

Latin compositus, past participle of componere — see compose

First Known Use


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of composite was in 1563

Dictionary Entries Near composite

Cite this Entry

“Composite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
com·​pos·​ite käm-ˈpäz-ət How to pronounce composite (audio) kəm- How to pronounce composite (audio)
: made up of various parts or elements
a composite photograph
: of or relating to a very large family of dicotyledonous plants (as a daisy or aster) that are characterized by flowers arranged in dense heads that resemble single flowers
: able to be factored into two or more prime factors other than 1 and itself
12 is a composite number since 2 × 2 × 3 = 12


2 of 2 noun
: something that is made up of different parts : compound
: a composite plant

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