com·​post | \ ˈkäm-ˌpōst How to pronounce compost (audio) , especially British -ˌpäst \

Definition of compost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land


composted; composting; composts

Definition of compost (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to convert (a material, such as plant debris) to compost

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Other Words from compost


compostable \ ˈkäm-​ˌpō-​stə-​bəl How to pronounce compost (audio) \ adjective
composter \ ˈkäm-​ˌpō-​stər How to pronounce compost (audio) \ noun

Examples of compost in a Sentence

Verb We compost leaves in our backyard.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But other organic substances such as compost, pine straw and ground-up bark or leaves are also placed around flowers, plants and trees. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 Starting with a soil that doesn’t contain enough nutrients, a lack of compost, a lack of diversity of microbial content, just really not having that diversity of nutrition within your initial input is a huge one. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, 14 Apr. 2022 Organic materials such as compost or peat will increase soil pore space and improve drainage issues. oregonlive, 5 Dec. 2021 Any waste left over from the process will be used as compost for the brand’s garden in Highland Park. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2021 Some people want to give directly to the Earth by turning their body into compost. Danya Bacchus, CBS News, 21 Apr. 2022 After the crowd passes, dump trucks and sweepers clean up what’s left of the carpets, recycling it into compost. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2022 Organic scraps would now be sent to landfills rather than converted into compost. Rachel Nuwer, Outside Online, 10 Mar. 2022 Put the leaves into compost or layer them onto your garden beds to decompose in place. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The bag is sturdy and odorless, so there’s no need to worry about any worms or compost seeping out. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 3 May 2022 Such a shift can mean that people recycle and compost more, so the total volume of the waste stream remains relatively stable. Lily Baum Pollans, The Conversation, 4 Jan. 2022 Residents in Hamilton County can compost their Christmas trees and other holiday greenery through one of the county's three yard trimming drop-off sites. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 27 Dec. 2021 Residents can compost their own organic waste, but most people and businesses will rely on local waste management services to do the recycling for them. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Dec. 2021 Under a law that took effect in July 2020, residents can compost the waste in their yards, opt for curbside pick up or drop it at waste stations. Kathleen Ronayne, ajc, 9 Dec. 2021 Folks can also compost right in their home and backyard, which the city encourages where possible. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Nov. 2021 The group is seeking nothing short of a complete revamp of New York City’s approach to compost. Rachel Nuwer, Outside Online, 10 Mar. 2022 For daily cleaning, empty out the grounds into your organics/compost bin. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Sep. 2021 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.

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First Known Use of compost


1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for compost


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

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Time Traveler for compost

Time Traveler

The first known use of compost was in 1587

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Dictionary Entries Near compost



compost heap

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Statistics for compost

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compost.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for compost


com·​post | \ ˈkäm-ˌpōst How to pronounce compost (audio) \

Kids Definition of compost

: decayed organic material (as of leaves and grass) used to improve soil especially for growing crops


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