• Composition


    • UK IPA: /ËŒkÉ’mpəˈzɪʃən/


    From Old French composicion, from Latin compositiō.

    Full definition of composition



    (plural compositions)
    1. The proportion of different parts to make a whole. from 14th c.
    2. The general makeup of something. from 14th c.
    3. (obsolete) An agreement or treaty used to settle differences; later especially, an agreement to stop hostilities; a truce. 14th-19th c.
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.40:It will stoope and yeeld upon better compositions to him that shall make head against it.
      • 1630, John Smith, True travels, in Kupperman 1988, p. 50:with an incredible courage they advanced to the push of the Pike with the defendants, that with the like courage repulsed ..., that the Turks retired and fled into the Castle, from whence by a flag of truce they desired composition.
    4. (obsolete) An agreement to pay money in order to clear a liability or obligation; a settling. 16th-19th c.
      • 1745, Edward Young, Night-Thoughts, II:Insidious death! should his strong hand arrest,
        No composition sets the prisoner free.
    5. (legal) an agreement or compromise by which a creditor or group of creditors accepts partial payment from a debtor.
    6. A mixture or compound; the result of composing. from 16th c.
    7. An essay. from 16th c.
    8. (linguistics) The formation of compound words from separate words. from 16th c.
    9. A work of music, literature or art. from 17th c.
      • 1816, Jane Austen A letter dated 8 September 1818:...and how good Mrs. West could have written such books and collected so many hard words, with all her family cares, is still more a matter of astonishment. Composition seems to me impossible with a head full of joints of mutton and doses of rhubarb.
    10. (printing) typesetting. from 19th c.
    11. (mathematics) Applying a function to the result of another.
    12. (obsolete) Consistency; accord; congruity.
      • ShakespeareThere is no composition in these news
        That gives them credit.
    13. Synthesis as opposed to analysis.
      • Sir Isaac NewtonThe investigation of difficult things by the method of analysis ought ever to precede the method of composition.


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