component 1 of 2


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How is the word component distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of component are constituent, element, and ingredient. While all these words mean "one of the parts of a compound or complex whole," component and constituent may designate any of the substances (whether elements or compounds) or the qualities that enter into the makeup of a complex product; component stresses its separate entity or distinguishable character.

the components of a stereo system

In what contexts can constituent take the place of component?

While in some cases nearly identical to component, constituent stresses its essential and formative character.

the constituents of a chemical compound

When is element a more appropriate choice than component?

While the synonyms element and component are close in meaning, element applies to any such part and often connotes irreducible simplicity.

the basic elements of geometry

When is it sensible to use ingredient instead of component?

Although the words ingredient and component have much in common, ingredient applies to any of the substances which when combined form a particular mixture.

the ingredients of a cocktail

Thesaurus Entries Near component

Cite this Entry

“Component.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on component

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!