composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce composition (audio) \

Definition of composition

1a : the act or process of composing specifically : arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form the painting's unique composition
b(1) : the arrangement of type for printing hand composition
(2) : the production of type or typographic characters (as in photocomposition) arranged for printing
2a : the manner in which something is composed
b : general makeup the changing ethnic composition of the city's population
c : the qualitative and quantitative makeup of a chemical compound the chemical composition of a polymer
3 : mutual settlement or agreement The two parties came to a composition.
4 : a product of mixing or combining various elements or ingredients a composition of rubber and cork
5 : an intellectual creation: such as
a : 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 society
b : a written piece of music especially of considerable size and complexity Her composition for piano and flute was played at the recital.
6 : the quality or state of being compound
7 : the operation of forming a composite function also : composite function

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Other Words from composition

compositional \ ˌkäm-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce compositional (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
compositionally adverb

Synonyms for composition

Synonyms

number, opus, piece, work

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Examples of composition in a Sentence

the changing composition of the country's population the composition of a chemical compound The teacher reminded us to hand in our compositions at the end of class.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Also qualifying as a departure is the painting's title, which is printed across the surface of the composition. Mike Giuliano, baltimoresun.com, "Resident artists in spotlight at Howard County Arts Council show," 6 June 2019 Throughout the exhibition, background music is a remixed version of compositions from the musical. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chicago's 'Hamilton' exhibit showcases the real history highlighted in the popular musical," 5 June 2019 The lobby’s soundtrack, created by experimental musician Julianna Barwick in partnership with Microsoft, is a composition that changes based off movements detected by the hotel’s sky camera. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "Tranquility Rules at Sister City, the Newest Hotel on Bowery," 30 Apr. 2019 One of Carneh’s biggest challenges was English composition. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Students who beat steep odds credit Washington educators who wouldn’t give up on them," 4 Feb. 2019 Most of the other tracks are collaborative original compositions: Mr. Rodriguez recorded rough demos; Mr. Martinez wrote lyrics and devised rhythmic patterns; then, the two reworked things in the studio. Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ, "‘Duologue’ by Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez Review: Channeling Cross-Cultural Passions," 26 Jan. 2019 The big bright orange piece is a Debussy composition full of petal-y splotches of magenta and blue. David Frese, kansascity, "Meet an artist who sees orange in Michael Jackson songs and blue in the letter A | The Kansas City Star," 12 Apr. 2018 The particular mural in question is a South Liberty Street composition by artist Cashy D that is critical of President Donald Trump. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "ACLU sides with Uptown owner of anti-Trump mural, sues city," 13 Mar. 2018 First recorded in 1967 in London, Hear My Train was an original blues composition inspired in part by Hendrix's childhood hero, Muddy Waters. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Listen to one of Jimi Hendrix's last songs with the Experience," 15 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'composition.' 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 composition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for composition

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

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Statistics for composition

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for composition

The first known use of composition was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for composition

composition

noun

English Language Learners Definition of composition

: 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

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌkäm-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce composition (audio) \

Kids Definition of composition

1 : a short piece of writing done as a school exercise
2 : the act of writing words or music
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 : a literary, musical, or artistic production

composition

noun
com·​po·​si·​tion

Legal Definition of composition

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

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