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

So the planet's composition and its atmosphere's contents play huge roles in influencing its temperature. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "TESS hits the trifecta: Nearby bright star has 3 interesting planets," 30 July 2019 Education’s having turned its back on teaching the technical aspects of composition is partially responsible for deteriorating standards in prose and speech. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Semantic Drift," 22 July 2019 The Finishers aren’t identical people whose similarities led them to wield this special power of composition. Caitlin Wolper, Vox, "Why is it so hard to finish a notebook?," 12 July 2019 Blood vessels in the brain are tiny and fragile, about 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter and of thinner composition than other vessels, with less lining. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Stroke survivors of all ages celebrate and thrive at gathering in Fountain Valley," 6 June 2019 Her musical repertoire includes liturgical masterpieces, Israeli songs, jazz, musical theater and her own compositions. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "Boca synagogue hires its first female cantor," 11 July 2019 It was believed that the shell was similar in composition to the same ingredients that made up the ocean. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa has table salt, just like Earth's seas," 13 June 2019 However, these marine creatures are widely known for their symmetry in shape, whereas stylophorans are amorphous and strange in physical composition. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A 150-Year Old Weird Ancient Animal Mystery, Solved," 22 Feb. 2019 There’s even a difference in chemical composition depending on what part of the plant is used. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Adaptogenic dusts, oils, and pills have a veneer of science, but there’s not much evidence to back them up.," 2 Nov. 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

7 Aug 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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