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 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

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 This week, 247Sports composite five-star prospect Troy Franklin, the nation’s No. Andrew Nemec | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Troy Franklin, nation’s No. 1 WR in 2021, has Beavers, Ducks in top 11," 27 Nov. 2019 The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Lawson is currently ranked No. 8 among 247’s composite list of 2021 recruits in Alabama. Ben Thomas |, al, "‘Perfect prospect:’ Mobile Christian 2021 star Deontae Lawson a force on offense and defense," 20 Nov. 2019 In 2019, our composite nationality needs yet another rebirth. David W. Blight, The Atlantic, "Frederick Douglass’s Vision for a Reborn America," 9 Nov. 2019 In midafternoon trading, the S&P 500 was on pace to clinch an all-time high for a second time this week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite were tracking for their third., "US-China trade hopes push stock indexes closer to more record highs - The Boston Globe," 8 Nov. 2019 When the 787 was designed as a carbon composite airframe, the FAA added a special condition requiring various design details to avoid such an explosion. Author: Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "New questions raised on safety of both Boeing 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner," 8 Nov. 2019 The company re-flew a fairing — the clam-like composite nose of the rocket that holds the satellites — for the first time, making it the first company to reach that point in rocket reusability. Chabeli Herrera,, "SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites, hitting major milestones in rocket reusability," 8 Nov. 2019 The composite responds by spontaneously contracting when punctured. Michael Ford, The Conversation, "Soft robots of the future may depend on new materials that conduct electricity, sense damage and self-heal," 7 Nov. 2019 In midafternoon trading, the S&P 500 was on pace to clinch an all-time high for a second time this week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite were tracking for their third. Washington Post, "Trade hopes push stock indexes closer to more record highs," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Students were also given a sketch artist's composite of what the male reportedly looks like. Chris Mayhew,, "Police: Male touching, grabbing school girls and exposing himself In North College Hill," 5 Dec. 2019 The Dow dropped more than 400 points, while the broader S&P 500-stock index and tech-heavy Nasdaq composite also lost ground. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Stocks slump after Trump says no deadline for China trade deal," 3 Dec. 2019 The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37 points, or 0.1%, to 27,804, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2%., "US stock indexes inch higher amid rising global tide - The Boston Globe," 22 Nov. 2019 Foster does not have a composite ranking from, but the website’s own rankings recently gave him three stars and list him as the 26th-best player in Ohio and No. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football lands hoops-turned-WR recruit Montorie Foster," 11 Nov. 2019 An overlay composite image of satellite pictures taken over a number of years shows the relative positions of the new and former Lateiki island. Fox News, "Volcanic eruption creates one new Pacific island, sinks another," 9 Nov. 2019 The General Dynamics/True Velocity system replaces the brass shell casing with a lighter composite. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army is Developing a Better Bullet," 29 Oct. 2019 Streep plays a fictional composite known as Ellen Martin, who struggles to receive an insurance settlement after the death of her husband in a tour boat accident while on vacation in Lake George, N.Y. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, "Stop talking to Meryl Streep about bucket hats," 27 Sep. 2019 Viroc, a fireproof cement composite that comes in panels, is another one of Barak's go-to materials. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "This Kitchen Isn't Just Pretty—It's Practically Indestructible," 27 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Composite.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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


How to pronounce composite (audio) How to pronounce composite (audio)

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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heavy with or as if with moisture

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