Definition of compose in English:


Syllabification: com·pose
Pronunciation: /kəmˈpōz


[with object]
  • 1Write or create (a work of art, especially music or poetry): he composed the First Violin Sonata four years earlier
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    • He also composed music, wrote poetry, had at least two books published and was a very accomplished artist.
    • Brahms had all but given up before tonight's works were composed, having written his will in 1891 and gone into a self-imposed retirement.
    • Next is a video journal of Crowe's preparations for the role, set to music largely composed by him.
    write, formulate, devise, make up, think up, produce, invent, concoct; pen, author, draft; score, orchestrate, choreograph
  • 1.1Write or phrase (a letter or piece of writing) with care and thought: the first sentence is so hard to compose
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    • Your elderly letter writers who have a hard time composing a good letter are just out of luck unless they have an angel, eh?
    • There is a splendid tale of the latter, his pen dripping in irony and vitriol, composing a letter to the United board congratulating them on their ground improvements in the aftermath of his own promises to build a new stadium.
    • She has already raised £6,500 for the home by composing an appeal letter seeking donations for the hospice at Oxenhope.
  • 1.2Form (a whole) by ordering or arranging the parts, especially in an artistic way: compose and draw a still life
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    • Phillips first composes his arrangements using design software, then executes them in oils on rectangular canvases and circular panels.
    • She uses decoration deliberately, as a contextual strategy and artistic choice to compose her pictorial space.
    • The Chinese artists rather compose the final design from several blocks.
    organize, arrange, set out
  • 1.3Order or arrange (parts) to form a whole, especially in an artistic way: make an attempt to compose your images
  • 2(Of elements) constitute or make up (a whole): the system is composed of a group of machines
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    • In essence, what I found was that guerrilla warfare is composed of three elements.
    • Mineral crystal is glass, which is composed of several elements that aid in resisting scratches (it is seven times harder than acrylic crystal).
    • The driver's figure is composed of relatively few elements and, perched on a buckboard, seems diminutive in comparison to the neighboring group.
  • 2.1Be (a specified number or amount) of a whole: women compose 49 percent of that group
  • 4Prepare (a text) for printing by manually, mechanically, or electronically setting up the letters and other characters in the order to be printed.
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    • He built an electronic printing system that would allow business customers to compose documents on an online template.
    • Once pages were composed, therefore, there was very little time for proof-correction before they had to be printed off and the types reused.
  • 4.1Set up (letters and characters) of a text in preparation for printing.


late Middle English (in the general sense 'put together, construct'): from Old French composer, from Latin componere (see component), but influenced by Latin compositus 'composed' and Old French poser 'to place'.

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