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[kuh m-poz-i-ter] /kəmˈpɒz ɪ tər/
a person who sets the type or text for printing.
Origin of compositor
1325-75 for earlier sense “referee, arbiter”; 1560-70 for current sense; Middle English < Latin: one who composes, equivalent to composi-, variant stem of compōnere (see component, composite) + -tor -tor
Related forms
[kuh m-poz-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /kəmˌpɒz ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for compositor
Historical Examples
  • I'm thinkin' your compositor hasn't had overmuch experience.

    The Boy with the U. S. Weather Men

    Francis William Rolt-Wheeler
  • The compositor is pronounced "a little person of great consequence."

    The Booklover and His Books Harry Lyman Koopman
  • Meredith was no compositor, a poor pressman, and seldom sober.

  • If the copy is hard to read, the compositor will set but few pages.

    Punctuation Frederick W. Hamilton
  • In such cases the compositor should punctuate as he goes along.

    Punctuation Frederick W. Hamilton
  • This is one of the tasks which subject the compositor to the test of intelligence.

    Punctuation Frederick W. Hamilton
  • Why is it necessary for a compositor to understand punctuation?

    Punctuation Frederick W. Hamilton
  • That compositor was a Cape Cod man,—I would wager a dinner upon it.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • "I began life as a compositor, and I have not forgotten my trade," he said.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • This figure, borrowed from the compositor's desk, will give a notion of what we mean.

    George Cruikshank William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for compositor


(printing) a person who sets and corrects type and generally assembles text and illustrations for printing Sometimes shortened to comp
Derived Forms
compositorial (kəmˌpɒzɪˈtɔːrɪəl) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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