[kuh m-poz-it]
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  1. made up of disparate or separate parts or elements; compound: a composite drawing; a composite philosophy.
  2. Botany. belonging to the Compositae.Compare composite family.
  3. (initial capital letter) Architecture. noting or pertaining to one of the five classical orders, popular especially since the beginning of the Renaissance but invented by the ancient Romans, in which the Roman Ionic and Corinthian orders are combined, so that four diagonally set Ionic volutes, variously ornamented, rest upon a bell of Corinthian acanthus leaves.Compare Corinthian(def 2), Doric(def 3), Ionic(def 1), Tuscan(def 2).
  4. Rocketry.
    1. (of a rocket or missile) having more than one stage.
    2. (of a solid propellant) made up of a mixture of fuel and oxidizer.
  5. Nautical. noting a vessel having frames of one material and shells and decking of another, especially one having iron or steel frames with shells and decks planked.
  6. Mathematics. of or relating to a composite function or a composite number.
  1. something composite; a compound.
  2. Botany. a composite plant.
  3. a picture, photograph, or the like, that combines several separate pictures.
verb (used with object), com·pos·it·ed, com·pos·it·ing.
  1. to make a composite of.

Origin of composite

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin compositus (past participle of compōnere to put together), equivalent to com- com- + positus placed; see posit
Related formscom·pos·ite·ly, adverbcom·pos·ite·ness, nounhy·per·com·pos·ite, adjectivenon·com·pos·ite, adjective, nounnon·com·pos·ite·ly, adverbnon·com·pos·ite·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for composite

Contemporary Examples of composite

Historical Examples of composite

British Dictionary definitions for composite


  1. composed of separate parts; compound
  2. of, relating to, or belonging to the plant family Asteraceae
  3. maths capable of being factorized or decomposeda composite function
  4. (sometimes capital) denoting or relating to one of the five classical orders of architecture: characterized by a combination of the Ionic and Corinthian stylesSee also Doric, Tuscan
  1. something composed of separate parts; compound
  2. any plant of the family Asteraceae (formerly Compositae), typically having flower heads composed of ray flowers (e.g. dandelion), disc flowers (e.g. thistle), or both (e.g. daisy)
  3. a material, such as reinforced concrete, made of two or more distinct materials
  4. a proposal that has been composited
verb (ˈkɒmpəˌzaɪt)
  1. (tr) to merge related motions from local branches of (a political party, trade union, etc) so as to produce a manageable number of proposals for discussion at national level
Derived Formscompositely, adverbcompositeness, noun

Word Origin for composite

C16: from Latin compositus well arranged, from compōnere to collect, arrange; see component
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 composite

c.1400, from Old French composite, from Latin compositus "placed together," past participle of componere "to put together, to collect a whole from several parts," from com- "together" (see com-) + ponere "to place" (see position (n.)). The noun is attested from c.1400. Composite number is from 1730s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper