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 Within a few months, all that matter will be transformed into rich, organic compost—AKA black gold. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Compost: An Easy DIY Guide," 12 Feb. 2021 My plan was to rototill about 5 inches of the clay soil and then rototill 4 inches of sand, 2 inches of compost, and 2 inches of peat moss into the 4 inches of clay. oregonlive, "Adding sand to clay soil could make drainage issue worse: Ask an expert," 6 Feb. 2021 After getting permission from their landlord to dig up the grass and weeds on the boulevard, Neal invested about $1,000, including part of their stimulus check, to buy compost, organic fertilizer, edging and plants. Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, "Twin Cities gardeners grow food for their neighbors on city boulevards," 25 Dec. 2020 Between now and mid-October, residents may visit the town’s online store to purchase rain barrels, compost bins, and related equipment for a 50-percent discount on retail prices., "Community news for the Glastonbury edition," 2 Oct. 2020 Instead, his team studied it in flies—specifically, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, known among scientists for their usefulness in biological experiments and among the rest of us for their tendency to flock around compost bins. Grace Huckins, Wired, "What Virtual Reality for Flies Teaches Us About Human Vision," 28 Aug. 2020 My partner, unaware of my experiment, dumped it in the compost. New York Times, "The Mushrooms Will Survive Us," 7 Feb. 2021 The company offers the curbside compost anywhere within a 25-minute radius of Huntsville. Lee Roop |, al, "New service offers front-porch compost pickup in Huntsville area," 3 Jan. 2021 The eggshells from its chickens are used in the compost for biodynamic preparations. Chris Macias,, "Biodynamic wines have gone mainstream. Here’s what you should know," 17 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Celia Ristow is the cofounder of Zero Waste Chicago, which provides advice and workshops to locals who want to compost their food waste or repair their old clothes in order to produce as little waste as possible. Eleanor Cummins, Popular Science, "Trim down on holiday waste this season," 24 Dec. 2020 Along with yanking weeds, hauling in fresh topsoil and installing a new irrigation system, crews are putting in 14 grow boxes, compost bins and a chicken coop. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Two years after North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor’s death in Afghanistan, donors resurrect his mini-farm," 11 Dec. 2020 The wood chip/soil mixture could be stockpiled on-site and allowed to compost (decay), then used to build or enrich garden beds. Dan Gill,, "Wait for spring to move crotons; azalea leaf drop is normal; and more garden advice from Dan Gill," 12 Jan. 2021 One of my favorite holiday gifts is a basket of gardening books and organic products like orange oil, earthworm castings, kelp, lava sand and compost tea. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Garden gift guide: Consider books, organic goods or educational classes," 14 Dec. 2020 Your plant isn’t going to recover this year, so compost it and buy a new one! Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "How to Care for Poinsettias," 7 Dec. 2020 Compost Simply put, compost refers to organic material that can be added to soil to help grow plants. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, "How to Reduce Food Waste, Once and For All," 4 Dec. 2020 That said, wood ashes do contain lots of essential elements, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium, and usually can be added to soil and compost piles. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "How to choose poinsettias and Christmas trees," 3 Dec. 2020 His department is helping the farms compost the mink bodies, and there are currently no conversations in the state about mass culling. NBC News, "Here's why Denmark culled 17 million minks and now plans to dig up their buried bodies. The Covid mink crisis, explained," 2 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for compost

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compost.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for compost



English Language Learners Definition of compost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a decayed mixture of plants (such as leaves and grass) that is used to improve the soil in a garden



English Language Learners Definition of compost (Entry 2 of 2)

: to change (plant materials) into 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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Comments on compost

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