[ kom-pohst ]
/ ˈkɒm poʊst /


a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.
a composition; compound.

verb (used with object)

to use in compost; make compost of: to compost manure and kitchen scraps.
to apply compost to (soil).

verb (used without object)

to make compost: Shredded leaves will compost easily.

Origin of compost

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French < Latin compositum, noun use of neuter of compositus composite; cf. compote


com·post·a·ble, adjectivecom·post·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for compostable (1 of 2)

/ (kɒmˈpɒstəbəl) /


capable of being used as compostcompostable waste

British Dictionary definitions for compostable (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒmpɒst) /


a mixture of organic residues such as decomposed vegetation, manure, etc, used as a fertilizer
a mixture, normally of plant remains, peat, charcoal, etc, in which plants are grown, esp in pots
rare a compound or mixture

verb (tr)

to make (vegetable matter) into compost
to fertilize with compost

Word Origin for compost

C14: from Old French compost, from Latin compositus put together; see composite
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

Scientific definitions for compostable

[ kŏmpōst′ ]

A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilize soil. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it decompose as a result of the action of aerobic bacteria, fungi, and other organisms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.