noun com·po·si·tion \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\

Definition of composition

  1. 1a :  the act or process of composing; specifically :  arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form the painting's unique compositionb (1) :  the arrangement of type for printing hand composition (2) :  the production of type or typographic characters (as in photocomposition) arranged for printing

  2. 2a :  the manner in which something is composedb :  general makeup the changing ethnic composition of the city's populationc :  the qualitative and quantitative makeup of a chemical compound the chemical composition of a polymer

  3. 3 :  mutual settlement or agreement The two parties came to a composition.

  4. 4 :  a product of mixing or combining various elements or ingredients a composition of rubber and cork

  5. 5 :  an intellectual creation: such asa :  a piece of writing; especially :  a school exercise in the form of a brief essay wrote a composition on the role of the police in our societyb :  a written piece of music especially of considerable size and complexity Her composition for piano and flute was played at the recital.

  6. 6 :  the quality or state of being compound

  7. 7 :  the operation of forming a composite function; also :  composite function


play \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nəl\ adjective



Examples of composition in a sentence

  1. the changing composition of the country's population

  2. the composition of a chemical compound

  3. The teacher reminded us to hand in our compositions at the end of class.

Origin and Etymology of composition

Middle English composicioun, from Anglo-French composicion, from Latin composition-, compositio, from componere —see compose

First Known Use: 14th century

COMPOSITION Defined for English Language Learners


noun com·po·si·tion \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\

Definition of composition for English Language Learners

  • : the way in which something is put together or arranged : the combination of parts or elements that make up something

  • : a piece of writing; especially : a brief essay written as a school assignment

  • : a written piece of music and especially one that is very long or complex

COMPOSITION Defined for Kids


noun com·po·si·tion \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən\

Definition of composition for Students

  1. 1 :  a short piece of writing done as a school exercise

  2. 2 :  the act of writing words or music

  3. 3 :  the manner in which the parts of a thing are put together :  makeup, constitution The president discussed the population's changing composition. Each rock has a slightly different composition.

  4. 4 :  a literary, musical, or artistic production

Law Dictionary


noun com·po·si·tion

Legal Definition of composition

  1. :  an agreement between an insolvent debtor and several creditors whereby partial payment of the debts discharges in full the original obligations — compare accord 3, compromise

Seen and Heard

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a trip made at another's expense

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