Meaning of COMPOSITION in English

I. ˌkämpəˈzishən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English composicioun, from Middle French composition, from Latin composition-, compositio, from compositus (past participle of componere to put together, from com- + ponere to put, place) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at position


a. : the act or action of composing : the formation of a whole especially by different things being put together

his composition of long novels

the slow composition of a glacier

specifically : the ordering or arranging of something into proper proportion or relation

force a composition of overwrought thoughts


(1) : combination of words to form a compound

(2) : combination of words, of combining forms, of a word and a combining form, of a word and an affix, or of a combining form and an affix to form a compound

c. : the construction of a literary work especially with reference to its degree of success in meeting criteria of correctness, order, or proportion

d. obsolete : the reasoning from general principles or causes to particulars : synthetic reasoning

e. : the disposition of the parts of a work of art : form , pattern

a triangular composition

f. logic

(1) : the adjunction of two terms to form a compound term or the adjunction of two propositions or assertions to form a compound assertion

(2) : the passage from a concept or assertion about individuals taken separately to a concept or assertion about the class which they compose — see fallacy of composition

g. : the nature of a chemical compound or mixture as regards the kind and amounts of its constituents being usually expressed for a chemical compound in numbers of atoms of each element in the molecule or in percentages of each element by weight


(1) : the arrangement of type for printing

hand composition

(2) : the production of type or typographic characters arranged for printing

electronic composition

i. : the kinds and relative numbers of different organisms that make up a population

2. : the manner in which something is composed or compounded: as

a. : the particular arrangement or combination of parts of a unit or whole

the composition of ingredients in a recipe

the industrial composition of a European country

b. : personal constitution (as of mind and body together) : general makeup

a man with a touch of genius in his composition

c. : the particular mode or style in the combination of parts in a work of art that produces a harmonious whole

a painting masterful in composition

d. obsolete : consistency especially among the items of a report : congruity

e. : the combination of tones forming a compound organ stop

3. : mutual settlement or agreement: as

a. archaic : an agreement especially between one person and another : settlement

b. : an agreement or settlement whereby differences (as between factions) are resolved : treaty , compromise

the countries were joined by an ancient composition

the composition that was reached in Korea is not satisfactory to America, but it is far better than to continue the bloody, dreary sacrifice — D.D.Eisenhower

c. : the satisfaction of a wrong or injury by money payment or the money so paid

d. : the adjustment of a debt or avoidance of an obligation or liability by some form of compensation agreed upon between the parties or the sum of money agreed upon in the adjustment ; specifically : settlement of debts by agreement through partial payments of the sums due debtors to avoid bankruptcy

e. Scots law : the fine due a superior on the actual or implied entry of a singular successor


a. : an aggregate, mixture, mass, or body formed by combining two or more elements or ingredients

a composition of rubber and cork

b. : a material prepared from or composed of various ingredients and often taking the place of a more expensive or uncompounded material

a facade made of composition that looks like marble

composition leather

composition shingles

5. : an intellectual creation: as

a. : a piece of writing ; especially : a written exercise done for a course in writing in school and usually intended to show study and care in arrangement

b. : a written piece of music ; especially : an original work of some magnitude and to whose formal structure appropriate attention has been given

c. : a work of art (as a drawing or painting) whose various elements are combined artistically

6. : the quality or state of being compound or composite

the simplicity and absence of composition in his arguments

7. : a course in colleges and secondary schools designed to train students to write especially exposition

II. noun

: the operation of forming a composite function ; also : composite function herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.