See more synonyms for combination on
  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).

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

Synonyms for combination

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for combinations

Contemporary Examples of combinations

Historical Examples of combinations

  • Pre-occupied with this notion, Russell was now omitted in all her combinations.

  • But his combinations of them were seldom along the lines of the possible.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • The atom retains its identity through all combinations and processes.

    The Machinery of the Universe

    Amos Emerson Dolbear

  • The truths of geometry and arithmetic in all their combinations are always the same.



  • All of them are combinations of bright and red with white and black.



British Dictionary definitions for combinations


pl n
  1. British a one-piece woollen undergarment with long sleeves and legsOften shortened to: combs, coms US and Canadian term: union suit


  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
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 combinations



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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper