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

Face-to-face with the dizzyingly grand Paradiso, a roughly 23 x 72-foot canvas commissioned for the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in Venice, Ruskin praised the dynamism of Tintoretto’s composition. Marley Marius, Vogue, "From Sally Mann to Jacopo Tintoretto, 7 Art Exhibitions You Won't Want to Miss This Spring," 1 Mar. 2019 All along the canals, a marvelous sense of composition, of balance between water, trees, buildings, and sky. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 The department will release further details on the composition of benefits in December. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Workers’ Pay Rises at Fastest Rate in a Decade," 31 Oct. 2018 The Lemon Bubble Brush boasts lemon, lime, and orange as its primary ingredients, while the Candy Bubble Brush’s cream of tartar composition gives it the sweet scent of cotton candy. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Lush’s Bubble Brush Bars Will Turn Your Tub into a Personal Playground," 25 Aug. 2018 This rule is designed to prevent a double influence on the composition of the Bundestag. Lindsay Ellis, Houston Chronicle, "Recommendation letters written for women undermine their job applications, Rice and UH research find," 7 June 2018 Therefore, high-fat meats and full-fat dairy products automatically contain more calories based on composition. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Should Know About Vegan Diets," 24 Apr. 2018 The guide will talk about the flowers in bloom and offer tips on photo composition. Paige Fumo Fox, Daily Southtown, "Spring is prime time to spy wildflowers on nature walks," 10 Apr. 2018 But with five days until Opening Day, the Rangers still aren't 100 percent sure on the composition of their roster. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Will he or won't he? Colon at center of Rangers' final roster moves," 24 Mar. 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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Last Updated

6 Mar 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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