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

The Gophers’ class is comprised of all three-star recruits and is ranked 24th in the nation, per 247sports’ composite rankings. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers football adds 12 commitments in 10 days to 2020 recruiting class," 24 June 2019 The researchers used a composite score that standardizes both the SAT and ACT scores in terms of the SAT’s grading scale. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "What If Colleges Used Only Test Scores to Fill Campuses?," 23 June 2019 In Italy, which held national elections at the weekend, the composite PMI also declined, albeit from a 10 1/2-year high. Fergal O'brien,, "Euro-Area Economy Looked a Little Less Buoyant in February," 5 Mar. 2018 Instead of wood and insulation, its walls are made of composite aluminum filled with highly insulating expandable foam. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "A NASA Architect Designed a Camper," 25 May 2019 The EN700 Pro has a 10-millimeter driver in each earpiece with an N50 high magnetic composite moving-coil transducer with a polymer composite titanium-plated diaphragm. Jim Rossman, The Seattle Times, "Tech review: Simgot in-ear monitors offer great sound and a great price," 13 Apr. 2019 Each domain accounts for a host of factors, such as weapon imports and political stability, to give each nation three scores that average for the overall composite, according to the index's methodology. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Safest Countries in the World," 5 July 2018 The article describes various upgrades since the Starhopper vehicle made a short, tethered hop in early April, including new composite overwrap pressure vessels and plumbing. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Omega rocket blows a nozzle, NASA still wants 2020 SLS launch," 31 May 2019 In 2017, the Colorado Springs Police Department released a composite image of a suspect, created using DNA evidence found at the scene. Kathleen Foody, Fox News, "Colorado police make arrest in 30-year-old slaying of woman," 20 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Flash powder, made from a composite of metallic fuel and an oxidizer, requires ignition to create a bright flash — one that film can capture, and one that allowed photographers to take photos anywhere without sunlight. Marlo Safi, National Review, "A Raw Look at the New ‘Other Half’," 29 June 2019 The fourth player drafted among the first 50 picks who was completely unranked by the 247Sports composite coming out of high school, Brantley is another player who faced long odds to hear his name called. Molly Geary,, "2019 NBA Draft Picks Who Defied Their High School Recruiting Rankings," 21 June 2019 The characters in Striking Vipers — Roxette and Lance, played by Pom Klementieff and Ludi Lin — appear to be brand new, not composites of characters from any Mortal Kombat universe. Rachel Paige,, "Black Mirror's Mortal Kombat-Style Video Game Is An Homage & An Easter Egg," 7 June 2019 Chief White told Dateline that’s the information police used to make their original suspect composite. NBC News, "Twenty four years later, mother still fighting for justice in daughter Morgan Nick's disappearance," 7 June 2019 The Nasdaq composite fell 174.01 points, or 2.4 percent, to 6,992.67. Marley Jay, Time, "Trade War Fears Deal U.S. Stock Market Its Worst Week in 2 Years," 23 Mar. 2018 Furthermore, both neutrons and protons are actually composites of elementary particles called quarks that are held together by gluons. Quanta Magazine, "Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen," 13 Feb. 2018 Bryant is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports’ composite ranking. Adam Lichtenstein,, "Atlantic defensive lineman Henry Bryant III commits to the Louisville Cardinals," 13 June 2019 The Nasdaq composite reversed an early slide, adding 40.08 points, or 0.5%, to 7,615.55. Washington Post, "US stocks climb on hope of US-Mexico trade deal," 7 June 2019

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

7 Jul 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).


a small bunch of flowers

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