• synonyms


[kom-buh-ney-shuh n]
See more synonyms for combination on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of combining or the state of being combined.
  2. a number of things combined: a combination of ideas.
  3. something formed by combining: A chord is a combination of notes.
  4. an alliance of persons or parties: a combination in restraint of trade.
  5. the set or series of numbers or letters used in setting the mechanism of a combination lock.
  6. the parts of the mechanism operated by this.
  7. Often combinations. a suit of underwear in one piece.
  8. Mathematics.
    1. the arrangement of elements into various groups without regard to their order in the group.
    2. a group thus formed.Compare permutation(def 1).
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Origin of combination

1350–1400; Middle English combinacyoun (< Middle French) < Late Latin combīnātiōn- (stem of combīnātiō), equivalent to combīnāt(us) combined (see combine, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscom·bi·na·tion·al, adjectivein·ter·com·bi·na·tion, nounnon·com·bi·na·tion, nounpre·com·bi·na·tion, nounsu·per·com·bi·na·tion, nounun·com·bi·na·tion·al, adjective


See more synonyms for combination on Thesaurus.com
1. association, conjunction, union, coalescence, blending. 2. mixture, amalgamation, amalgam. 4. association, federation, league, coalition, cartel, combine, monopoly, bloc, cabal, conspiracy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for combination

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Rarely has there been exhibited so complete a combination of qualities in statesmanship.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Sulphur springs with Epsom salts in combination are nearly as common.

  • A combination of crocuses and snow on the ground had given her an inspiration for a gown.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Nothing can be more poetic in colour, form, and combination.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • These alloys are made of a combination of aluminum and magnesium.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

British Dictionary definitions for combination


  1. the act of combining or state of being combined
  2. a union of separate parts, qualities, etc
  3. an alliance of people or parties; group having a common purpose
    1. the set of numbers that opens a combination lock
    2. the mechanism of this type of lock
  4. British a motorcycle with a sidecar attached
  5. maths
    1. an arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc, of a set into specified groups without regard to order in the groupthe combinations of a, b, and c, taken two at a time, are ab, bc, ac
    2. a group formed in this way. The number of combinations of n objects taken r at a time is n !/[(nr)! r !]. Symbol: n C rCompare permutation (def. 1)
  6. the chemical reaction of two or more compounds, usually to form one other compound
  7. chess a tactical manoeuvre involving a sequence of moves and more than one piece
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See also combinations
Derived Formscombinational, 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

Word Origin and History for combination


late 14c., combinacyoun, from Old French combination (14c., Modern French combinaison), from Late Latin combinationem (nominative combinatio) "a joining two by two," noun of action from past participle stem of combinare (see combine (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper