[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. composition series,
  2. compositional,
  3. compositive,
  4. compositor,
  5. compossible,
  6. compostable,
  7. compostela,
  8. compostela, santiago de,
  9. composting toilet,
  10. composure

Origin of compost

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

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

British Dictionary definitions for compostable


/ (kɒmˈpɒstəbəl) /


capable of being used as compostcompostable waste


/ (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

Word Origin and History for compostable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science 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.