n. 1 a the act of putting together; formation or construction. b something so composed; a mixture. c the constitution of such a mixture; the nature of its ingredients (the composition is two parts oil to one part vinegar). 2 a a literary or musical work. b the act or art of producing such a work. c an essay, esp. written by a schoolchild. d an artistic arrangement (of parts of a picture, subjects for a photograph, etc.). 3 mental constitution; character (jealousy is not in his composition). 4 (often attrib.) a compound artificial substance, esp. one serving the purpose of a natural one. 5 Printing the setting-up of type. 6 Gram. the formation of words into a compound word. 7 Law a a compromise, esp. a legal agreement to pay a sum in lieu of a larger sum, or other obligation (made a composition with his creditors). b a sum paid in this way. 8 Math. the combination of functions in a series. compositional adj. compositionally adv.
[ ME f. OF, f. L compositio -onis (as COMPOSITE) ]