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

Examples of compost in a Sentence


We compost leaves in our backyard.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

City records show that Elinoff called the city for compost pickup at the North Tennyson Street address in January and that the address associated with his voter registration is at Tennyson Street. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Denver attorney accused of violating short-term rental ordinance," 8 July 2019 Miller and his team love getting elementary schools set up with compost systems because the young children are enthusiastic and determined. Ysabelle Kempe,, "Composting becomes commonplace in Acton-Boxborough schools," 4 July 2019 The troop used some of the money from their cookie sales to buy the bins, trash bags and new signs to help visitors dispose of their trash, recyclables and compost items into the proper cans. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Girl Scouts donate trash sorting cans to Alta Vista Botanical Gardens," 17 June 2019 Iowa farmers tried it in the 1990s and the California Healthy Soils Initiative has an incentives program that funds farmers who use practices like compost application, mulching, no-till and cover cropping. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it.," 12 June 2019 What most organic folks used for foliar sprays in the early days was compost tea. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "How to make this do-it-yourself organic fertilizer and pest control spray," 18 June 2019 Answering additional questions, Yanz said animal waste would be used on site as part of compost. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Panel OK with sanctuary business plan in Hobart; awaits City Council approval," 7 June 2019 A few weeks before planting, prepare the bed by digging an area to 1 foot deep and adding lots of compost. Thad Orr, Sunset, "Your Essential Gardening To-Do List for April," 22 Jan. 2018 In theory, a compost pile should get hot enough to kill seeds. Neil Sperry,, "How soon is too soon to use compost?," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Waste management trends Today, thanks to the evolution of waste handling options, a majority of the materials in municipal solid waste can be composted or recycled. Ana Baptista, The Conversation, "Is burning trash a good way to handle it? Waste incineration in 5 charts," 20 June 2019 Chickens and composting go hand-in-hand—the little hens can eat your old food scraps so none go to waste. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Free Class Will Turn You Into an Expert Chicken Rancher," 5 June 2019 But for apartment dwellers interested in taking up the activity, there exists some concerns about how their landlord or property manager will feel about them composting, or even if the practice will attract pests. Shannon Larson,, "Eco-conscious apartment dwellers: You too can compost, experts say," 5 July 2019 This has led to interest in using them as composting agents, so that cultivating them, too, has already been happening on a small scale. The Economist, "Beetles and flies are becoming part of the agricultural food chain," 4 July 2019 The best and safest way to dispose of any invasive plant material is to bag it and put it into the garbage – not compost it., "Need tips on how to prune back a rhododendron? Ask an Expert," 29 June 2019 Carcasses must be disposed of in accordance with Kentucky Revised Statutes, which approves both on-farm composting and registered composting facilities. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky black vulture attacks: How to keep your pets and farm animals safe," 25 June 2019 Organic materials used for mulches are not composted or allowed to decay before use. Dan Gill,, "Know the difference between mulch and organic amendments," 21 Apr. 2019 Across from the kitchen sits a fully built out shower with composting toilet, black tiles, and a skylight. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cool camper van is like a hip apartment on wheels," 18 June 2019

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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Statistics for compost

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for compost

The first known use of compost was in 1587

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on compost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with compost

Spanish Central: Translation of compost

Nglish: Translation of compost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compost for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about compost

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