• Compose

    Pronunciation

    • enPR: kəm-pōz', IPA: /kəmˈpəʊz/
    • Rhymes: -əʊz

    Origin

    From Old French composer ("to compose, compound, adjust, settle"), from Latin componere ("to put together, compose"), from com- ("together") + ponere ("to put, place")

    Full definition of compose

    Verb

    1. (transitive) To make something by merging parts. from later 15th c.The editor composed a historical journal from many individual letters.Try to compose your thoughts.
      • Bishop SpratZeal ought to be composed of the highest degrees of all pious affection.
    2. (transitive) To make up the whole; to constitute.A church is composed of its members.
      • I. WattsA few useful things ... compose their intellectual possessions.
    3. (transitive, nonstandard) To comprise.
    4. (transitive or intransitive) To construct by mental labor; to think up; particularly, to produce or create a literary or musical work.The orator composed his speech over the week prior.Nine numbered symphonies, including the Fifth, were composed by Beethoven.It's difficult to compose without absolute silence.
      • Alexander PopeLet me compose
        Something in verse as well as prose.
      • B. R. Haydonthe genius that composed such works as the "Standard" and "Last Supper"
    5. (sometimes reflexive) To calm; to free from agitation.The defendant couldn't compose herself and was found in contempt.
      • DrydenCompose thy mind;
        Nor frauds are here contrived, nor force designed.
    6. To arrange the elements of a photograph or other picture.
    7. To settle (an argument, dispute etc.); to come to a settlement.
      • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 280:By trying his best to compose matters with the mullahs, he had sincerely shown that he did not seek a violent collision ...
    8. To arrange in proper form; to reduce to order; to put in proper state or condition.
      • DrydenIn a peaceful grave my corpse compose.
      • MiltonHow in safety best we may
        Compose our present evils.
    9. (printing, dated) To arrange (types) in a composing stick for printing; to typeset.

    Related terms

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