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 compositionb (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 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 : 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 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 : the quality or state of being compound
compositionalplay \ˌkäm-pə-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of composition from the Web
In some composition of positions, though, those eight figure to be on the 53-man roster to start the season.
At 16-feet long and 2,500 pounds, its fiberglass composition is a much sleeker alternative to the typical Airstream design, and can be easily towed behind most vehicles.
Physicians can now blend standard data like age, race, and medical history, along with molecular data like the composition and amount of a person’s eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that mediates asthma attacks.
Composers like Jean Sibelius in Finland, Edvard Grieg in Norway and Antonín Dvořák in present-day Czech Republic, gained notoriety for incorporating indigenous musical idioms into their Western-style compositions.
The current composition of the U.S. Supreme Court is, on balance, conservative and at times skeptical of the reach of the federal government.
But caloric burn is a more complex calculation, one that takes into account everything from body composition to age and fitness level to exertion.
Why does Tchaikovsky’s compositions still resonate with audiences today?
His compositions are re-imagined via the Indian tradition as well as the intersection of jazz and flamenco.
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.
COMPOSITION Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of composition for Students
1 : a short piece of writing done as a school exercise
2 : the act of writing words or music
4 : a literary, musical, or artistic production
Learn More about composition
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