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

Now Harvick’s team has been rocked by a penalty that may change the composition of the final four drivers racing for the title. Jenna Fryer, The Seattle Times, "Harvick’s championship berth spoiled by NASCAR inspectors," 7 Nov. 2018 That's because the unique mineral composition of the water, mud, and atmospheric pressure have been shown to impove inflammatory conditions like psoirasis, acne, and arthritis. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the Dead Sea Should Be at the Top of Every Beauty Junkie's Travel List," 5 Sep. 2018 In Schibille and her colleagues' analysis, the chemical composition of those samples suggested very pure silica, such as clean silica sand or quartz pebbles. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval artisans built a glass-walled palace in the desert," 31 Aug. 2018 But a Globe review of internal documents, past cost-control efforts, and the composition of Troop F suggests that hitting the high end of that projection is unlikely, if not impossible. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "Baker’s plan to cut State Police OT spending faces major hurdles," 11 July 2018 But what sorts of investments provide work for a job force of perpetually shifting skills and composition? David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 By examining the structure and elemental composition, the researchers found that the lithium was not forming a lithium carbide, as expected. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "High-density lithium in graphene: An intriguing battery possibility," 29 Nov. 2018 Luckily, the ISS’s Alpha Mounted Spectrometer and other tools can measure these rays, whose presence and composition are experimental evidence for big-picture theories about the nature of the universe. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What ISS Taught Us In the Past 20 Years," 20 Nov. 2018 There should be an up and there should be a down, paying attention to color, contrast and composition. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Meet the Man Who Takes Pictures of Microbes," 18 Oct. 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

15 May 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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Comments on composition

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