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com·​post ˈkäm-ˌpōst How to pronounce compost (audio)
 especially British  -ˌpäst
: a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land


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composted; composting; composts

transitive verb

: to convert (a material, such as plant debris) to compost
compostable adjective
composter noun

Example Sentences

Verb We compost leaves in our backyard.
Recent Examples on the Web
Our tester used their Hydroshot to clean the interior of a messy compost bin and watched as sludgy food scraps and mulch poured out. Gabriel Morgan, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Nov. 2022 The National Wildlife Federation suggests composting pumpkins by removing the seeds, chopping them up, and placing them in a compost bin. Mallory Arnold, Outside Online, 13 Oct. 2022 Throw weeds, spent flowers, and vegetable waste into a compost bin at least three feet wide and high. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 23 Sep. 2022 Plus, don't miss out on adding a compost bin, like this pick from Utopia Kitchen that's earned 11,700 five-star ratings. Annie Burdick, Peoplemag, 16 Sep. 2022 Another trick is to store leftover food scraps, like vegetable peels and eggshells, in a sealable container or an airtight compost bin. Audrey Bruno, SELF, 6 Sep. 2022 Leaves can make great mulch or a compost supplement. Amy Dickinson, cleveland, 15 Nov. 2022 Leaves can make great mulch or a compost supplement. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 15 Nov. 2022 Leaves can make great mulch or a compost supplement. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 15 Nov. 2022
Instead of rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, scrape food into your trash or compost bin. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 16 Nov. 2022 Since the materials are not mixed or turned to bring more oxygen to the organisms, compost forms more slowly. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 12 Nov. 2022 There are lots and lots of brands of organic houseplant fertilizers that contain all manner of goodies for your plants ranging from kelp to soybean, compost to ground-up fish. Jeff Lowenfels | Alaska Gardening And Growing, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Nov. 2022 Compost helps keep moisture in your soil but compost piles are hard to fit in small spaces. Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2022 If the do-it-yourself method seems too difficult, many cities offer composting services that pick up people's organic scraps then compost it at a commercial facility. Megan Marples, CNN, 14 Sep. 2022 Enjoy them until the blooms die off and then compost them. Viveka Neveln, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Sep. 2022 There’s a clay liner so that water doesn’t drain away from the roots of the plants, with highly absorbent wood chips and compost above. Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, 6 Oct. 2022 California has joined a growing number of states that allow residents to compost their bodies after death. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compost.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin compostum, from Latin, neuter of compositus, compostus, past participle of componere

First Known Use


1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of compost was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near compost

Cite this Entry

“Compost.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a mixture largely of decayed matter of once living things (as grass) or their products (as coffee grinds) and used for fertilizing and conditioning land
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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