What does composition mean?

Definitions for composition
ˌkɒm pəˈzɪʃ əncom·po·si·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word composition.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. composition, composingnoun

    the spatial property resulting from the arrangement of parts in relation to each other and to the whole

    "harmonious composition is essential in a serious work of art"

  2. constitution, composition, physical composition, makeup, make-upnoun

    the way in which someone or something is composed

  3. compositionnoun

    a mixture of ingredients

  4. musical composition, opus, composition, piece, piece of musicnoun

    a musical work that has been created

    "the composition is written in four movements"

  5. composing, compositionnoun

    musical creation

  6. writing, authorship, composition, penningnoun

    the act of creating written works

    "writing was a form of therapy for him"; "it was a matter of disputed authorship"

  7. typography, compositionnoun

    art and technique of printing with movable type

  8. composition, paper, report, themenoun

    an essay (especially one written as an assignment)

    "he got an A on his composition"

  9. compositionnoun

    something that is created by arranging several things to form a unified whole

    "he envied the composition of their faculty"


  1. compositionnoun

    The proportion of different parts to make a whole.

  2. compositionnoun

    The general makeup of something.

  3. compositionnoun

    An agreement or treaty used to settle differences; later especially, an agreement to stop hostilities; a truce.

  4. compositionnoun

    An agreement to pay money in order to clear a liability or obligation; a settling.

  5. compositionnoun

    A mixture or compound; the result of composing.

  6. compositionnoun

    An essay.

  7. compositionnoun

    The formation of compound words from separate words.

  8. compositionnoun

    A work of music, literature or art.

  9. compositionnoun


  10. Etymology: From compositio.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Compositionnoun

    Etymology: compositio, Latin.

    We have exact forms of composition, whereby they incorporate almost as they were natural simples. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis.

    In the time of the yncas reign in Peru, no composition was allowed by the laws to be used in point of medicine, but only simples proper to each disease. William Temple.

    The investigation of difficult things, by the method of analysis, ought ever to precede the method of composition. Newt.

    Heat and vivacity in age, is an excellent composition for business. Francis Bacon, Essay 43.

    Vast pillars of stone, cased over with a composition, that looks the most like marble of any thing one can imagine. Addison.

    Jove mix’d up all, and his best clay employ’d,
    Then call’d the happy composition Floyd. Jonathan Swift.

    Contemplate things first in their own simple natures, and afterwards view them in composition with other things. Isaac Watts.

    The disposition in a picture is an assembling of many parts: this is also called the composition, by which is meant the distribution and orderly placing of things, both in general and in particular. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

    Writers are divided concerning the authority of the greater part of those compositions that pass in his name. Roger L'Estrange.

    That divine prayer has always been looked upon as a composition fit to have proceeded from the wisest of men. Addison.

    When I read rules of criticism, I enquire after the works of the author, and by that means discover what he likes in a composition. Joseph Addison, Guardian, №. 115.

    A preacher in the invention of matter, election of words, composition of gesture, look, pronunciation, motion, useth all these faculties at once. Ben Jonson, Discov.

    To take away all such mutual grievance, injuries and wrongs, there was no way but only by going upon composition and agreement amongst themselves. And again, all publick regiment, of what kind soever, seemeth evidently to have arisen from deliberate advice, consultation, and composition between men, judging it convenient and behoveful. Richard Hooker.

    Thus we are agreed;
    I crave our composition may be written,
    And seal’d between us. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.

    Their courage droops, and, hopeless now, they wish
    For composition with th’ unconquer’d fish. Edmund Waller.

    There is no composition in these news,
    That gives them credit. ————
    —— Indeed they are disproportion’d. William Shakespeare, Othello.


  1. composition

    Composition refers to the arrangement, combination, or organization of different elements or components to create a unified whole. It involves the thoughtful and deliberate selection and placement of these elements or components in relation to each other, their proportions, and the overall structure or design. Composition can apply to various forms of artistic expression, such as visual arts (painting, photography), music, literature, and even everyday situations or scenarios. It aims to create a sense of balance, harmony, and coherence that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal or communication of the work.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Compositionnoun

    the act or art of composing, or forming a whole or integral, by placing together and uniting different things, parts, or ingredients

  2. Compositionnoun

    the invention or combination of the parts of any literary work or discourse, or of a work of art; as, the composition of a poem or a piece of music

  3. Compositionnoun

    the art or practice of so combining the different parts of a work of art as to produce a harmonious whole; also, a work of art considered as such. See 4, below

  4. Compositionnoun

    the act of writing for practice in a language, as English, Latin, German, etc

  5. Compositionnoun

    the setting up of type and arranging it for printing

  6. Compositionnoun

    the state of being put together or composed; conjunction; combination; adjustment

  7. Compositionnoun

    a mass or body formed by combining two or more substances; as, a chemical composition

  8. Compositionnoun

    a literary, musical, or artistic production, especially one showing study and care in arrangement; -- often used of an elementary essay or translation done as an educational exercise

  9. Compositionnoun

    consistency; accord; congruity

  10. Compositionnoun

    mutual agreement to terms or conditions for the settlement of a difference or controversy; also, the terms or conditions of settlement; agreement

  11. Compositionnoun

    the adjustment of a debt, or avoidance of an obligation, by some form of compensation agreed on between the parties; also, the sum or amount of compensation agreed upon in the adjustment

  12. Compositionnoun

    synthesis as opposed to analysis

  13. Etymology: [F. composition, fr. L. compositio. See Composite.]


  1. Composition

    In the visual arts – in particular painting, graphic design, photography and sculpture – composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art, as distinct from the subject of a work. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art. The term composition means 'putting together,' and can apply to any work of art, from music to writing to photography, that is arranged or put together using conscious thought. In the visual arts, composition is often used interchangeably with various terms such as design, form, visual ordering, or formal structure, depending on the context. In graphic design for press and desktop publishing composition is commonly referred to as page layout. These paintings all show the same subject, the Raising of Lazarus, and essentially the same figures, but have very different compositions: ⁕ Duccio, 1310-11 ⁕ Geertgen tot Sint Jans, 1480s ⁕ Guercino, c. 1619 ⁕ Rembrandt, c. 1630

Editors Contribution

  1. composition

    The act and process of to compose.

    The composition was simple, easy and effective.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 20, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'composition' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3951

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'composition' in Nouns Frequency: #1472

How to pronounce composition?

How to say composition in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of composition in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of composition in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of composition in a Sentence

  1. Edward Gibbon:

    Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.

  2. Alejandro Mayorkas:

    The job has not gotten any easier over the last few months, and it was very, very difficult throughout 2021, i know apprehending families and kids is not what you signed up to do. And now we got a composition that is changing even more with Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and the like, it just gets more difficult.

  3. Johanna Teske:

    Future space-based telescopes like WFIRST might be able to observe reflected light from Barnard's star off of the planet, and thus tell us something about the composition of the surface and/or atmosphere of the planet.

  4. Frances Lee:

    The fact that the racial divide is so deep between the parties, and the urban-rural divide is so deep between the parties, overlaps in problematic ways with the bias in The Senate representation, and that bias in The Senate representation is also reflected in Electoral College and in the composition of Supreme Court because it is the Senate's job to confirm nominations. So it's all linked.

  5. The FDA:

    This simplification of vaccine composition should reduce complexity, decrease vaccine administration errors due to the complexity of the number of different vial presentations, and potentially increase vaccine compliance by allowing clearer communication.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for composition

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تأليفArabic
  • иншаBashkir
  • композит, смес, есе, композиция, съединение, сплав, набор, съчинение, смесване, състав, структураBulgarian
  • redaccióCatalan, Valencian
  • složeníCzech
  • essay, blandingDanish
  • Zusammenstellung, KompositionGerman
  • σύγγραμα, μείγμα, σύσταση, σύνθεσηGreek
  • redacción, composiciónSpanish
  • ترکیب بندیPersian
  • sävellys, essee, kokoonpano, seos, yhdistelmä, aine, ainekirjoitusFinnish
  • composition, essai, œuvreFrench
  • píosa, saothar, comhdhéanamh, cló-eagar, dréachtIrish
  • रचनाHindi
  • կոմպոզիցիա, կազմ, կազմություն, բաղադրությունArmenian
  • componimento, composizione, saggioItalian
  • הרכבHebrew
  • 작곡Korean
  • compositioLatin
  • essai, samenstelling, combinatie, compositieDutch
  • sammensetningenNorwegian
  • ensaio, composiçãoPortuguese
  • alcătuire, compunere, compozițieRomanian
  • набор, состав, композиция, сплав, произведение, соединение, составление, сочинение, смесьRussian
  • skladbaSerbo-Croatian
  • kompozimAlbanian
  • inshaSwahili
  • கலவைTamil
  • thành phầnVietnamese

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"composition." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/composition>.

Discuss these composition definitions with the community:

  • Kimmy Kagura
    Kimmy Kagura
    wow that amazing
    LikeReply 27 years ago
    • Aviv Ben Efraim
      Aviv Ben Efraim
      LikeReply7 years ago
  • Kimmy Kagura
    Kimmy Kagura
    LikeReply7 years ago

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come out into view, as from concealment
  • A. aggravate
  • B. carry
  • C. emerge
  • D. embark

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