[ kom-puh-zish-uh n ]
/ ˌkɒm pəˈzɪʃ ən /


Origin of composition

1350–1400; Middle English composicioun < Anglo-French < Latin compositiōn- (stem of compositiō), equivalent to composit(us) (see composite) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscom·po·si·tion·al, adjectivecom·po·si·tion·al·ly, adverbcom·pos·i·tive [kuh m-poz-i-tiv] /kəmˈpɒz ɪ tɪv/, adjectivecom·pos·i·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for composition

British Dictionary definitions for composition


/ (ˌkɒmpəˈzɪʃən) /


Derived Formscompositional, adjective

Word Origin for composition

C14: from Old French, from Latin compositus; see composite, -ion
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 composition



late 14c., "action of combining," also "manner in which a thing is composed," from Old French composicion (13c., Modern French composition) "composition, make-up, literary work, agreement, settlement," from Latin compositionem (nominative compositio) "a putting together, connecting, arranging," noun of action from past participle stem of componere (see composite). Meaning "art of constructing sentences" is from 1550s; that of "literary production" (often also "writing exercise for students") is from c.1600. Printing sense is 1832; meaning "arrangement of parts in a picture" is from 1706.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper