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composition Line breaks: com|pos¦ition
Pronunciation: /kɒmpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of composition in English:


1 [mass noun] The nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up: the social composition of villages
More example sentences
  • Though the clothes themselves are ordinary garments, they are by the nature of their composition all individual.
  • In tumors with heterogeneous cellularity, fields were selected to reflect the whole tumor composition.
  • But the exact composition of this mixture varies from person to person, depending on body chemistry and diet.
make-up, constitution, configuration, structure, construction, conformation, formation, form, framework, fabric, anatomy, arrangement, organization, format, layout
informal set-up
1.1The action of putting things together; formation or construction: the composition of a new government was announced in November
More example sentences
  • The importance of understanding the factors that play a part in EI formation and composition is critical to EI research.
  • Special attention should be paid to the problem of composition of the formations engaged in blockades.
1.2 [count noun] A thing composed of various elements: a theory is a composition of interrelated facts
More example sentences
  • Scientists analyze the minerals and compositions of certain distinctive elements of the dust to identify its origin.
  • For calibration, a series of glass standards was chosen that corresponded closely to the major element compositions of the melt inclusions and matrix glasses.
  • He explained the true nature of man: a composition of elements which arise and then fall away immediately and which are devoid of an abiding substance, of a self.
1.3 archaic Mental constitution; character: persons who have a touch of madness in their composition
More example sentences
  • However, treatment may work differently in children, according to the severity of the trauma, a child's mental composition, and the availability of support.
1.4 [often as modifier] A compound artificial substance or material: composition tiles
More example sentences
  • Solid vinyl tile is a non-backed product that contains higher levels of vinyl resins, plasticizers and stabilizers than composition tile.
  • In high-traffic areas, Kastner says he uses modular carpet for high-wear areas and vinyl composition tile for corridors with less traffic.
  • So it was soon banned as was hard composition rubber.
mixture, compound, amalgam, blend, mix, admixture
1.5 Mathematics The successive application of functions to a variable, the value of the first function being the argument of the second, and so on: composition of functions, when defined, is associative
More example sentences
  • He continued to study functional analysis applications to integral equations producing a large number of papers on composition and permutable functions.
  • Let's assume that we have some function which we can choose to write as a composition.
1.6 Physics The process of finding the resultant of a number of forces: the composition of forces
More example sentences
  • Are the laws of acceleration and composition of forces nothing but arbitrary conventions?
  • An important consideration about the composition of forces is that the contribution of the several forces acting cannot be determined from information about the resultant motion.
2A creative work, especially a poem or piece of music: Chopin’s most romantic compositions
More example sentences
  • There are also educational pieces, numerous compositions of chamber music and two concertos.
  • One rarely associates the term ‘programmatic music’ with the compositions of Johannes Brahms.
  • His compositions comprise mainly chamber music, including string quartets and accompanied keyboard sonatas.
work of art, work, creation, literary/musical/artistic work, opus, oeuvre, piece, arrangement;
poem, novel, play, drama;
symphony, concerto, opera;
painting, drawing, picture
2.1 [mass noun] The action or art of producing a creative work such as a poem or piece of music: the technical aspects of composition
More example sentences
  • Musicians will gain a broad range of skills including technology, performance, composition and music business.
  • I'm deeply concerned with harmony, and yet it is the aspect of composition that is the most predetermined methodically.
  • Experience the process of composition of the art.
writing, creation, devising, making up, thinking up, framing, formulation, production, fashioning, origination, invention, concoction, compilation
2.2An essay, especially one written by a school or college student: we had a class composition, ‘My Best Friend’
More example sentences
  • But CStar is not limited to writing compositions for class.
  • The flag was saluted, cheers given for the King and senior classes were given the task of writing a composition on the greatness of the British Empire.
  • Written compositions will show a familiarity with informal, spoken English.
essay, paper, article, text, study, piece of writing;
North American  theme
2.3The artistic arrangement of the parts of a picture: none of the other photographs shared this particular composition
More example sentences
  • It is what one might expect of an artist experimenting with the composition of a companion picture.
  • Rubens sometimes used monochrome techniques in sketching compositions for engravers.
  • Some of the artists worked out their compositions with small sketches, at other times they would work with a spontaneous intuitive flow, reacting and responding to their evolving composition.
arrangement, disposition, layout, design, organization, construction;
proportions, harmony, balance, symmetry
3 [mass noun] The preparation of text for printing by setting up characters or by establishing its style and appearance electronically: an external contractor providing computerized composition and typesetting
4A legal agreement to pay a sum in lieu of a larger debt or other obligation: he had been released by deed on making a composition with the creditors
More example sentences
  • His losses were as large as those of his friends, but in a secret composition in 1892 he paid just sixpence in the pound, only to recover so quickly that he was known to be very rich indeed by 1900.
  • Private compositions required the debtor to turn over all their assets, usually less a few exempted items such as bedding, for distribution among creditors.
4.1A sum paid in lieu of a larger debt: Royalists redeemed their sequestrated estates by paying compositions
More example sentences
  • An acceptance by the holder of the acceptor's offer to pay a composition is not a renunciation of the holder's rights.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin compositio(n-), from componere 'put together'.

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