[kuh m-poh-nuh nt, kom-]



being or serving as an element (in something larger); composing; constituent: the component parts of a computer system.

Origin of component

1555–65; < Latin compōnent- (stem of compōnēns, present participle of compōnere to put together), equivalent to com- com- + pōn(ere) to put + -ent- -ent
Related formscom·po·nen·tial [kom-puh-nen-shuh l] /ˌkɒm pəˈnɛn ʃəl/, com·po·nen·tal, adjectivecom·po·nent·ed, adjectivesub·com·po·nent, noun

Synonyms for component

1. See element. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for component

Contemporary Examples of component

Historical Examples of component

  • As his eyes glowed, it resolved itself into its component specks.


    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • At this suggestion the component parts of his nature began a discussion.

  • The hyphen is used between the component parts of some compound words.


    Paul Allardyce

  • The fleet was an anomaly, and each of its component parts was separately a freak.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster

  • The force enters into the mores and becomes a component in them.


    William Graham Sumner

British Dictionary definitions for component



a constituent part or aspect of something more complexa component of a car
Also called: element any electrical device, such as a resistor, that has distinct electrical characteristics and that may be connected to other electrical devices to form a circuit
  1. one of a set of two or more vectors whose resultant is a given vector
  2. the projection of this given vector onto a specified line
one of the minimum number of chemically distinct constituents necessary to describe fully the composition of each phase in a systemSee phase rule


forming or functioning as a part or aspect; constituent
Derived Formscomponential (ˌkɒmpəˈnɛnʃəl), adjective

Word Origin for component

C17: from Latin compōnere to put together, from pōnere to place, put
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 component

1640s, "constitutional element" (earlier "one of a group of persons," 1560s), from Latin componentem (nominative componens), present participle of componere "to put together" (see composite). As an adjective, from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper