Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of compose
Meaning of compose by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • enPR: kəm-pōz', IPA: /kəmˈpəʊz/, SAMPA: /k@m"p@Uz/
    • Rhymes: -əʊz


    From Old French composer ( “to compose, compound, adjust, settle” ), from Latin componere ( “to put together, compose” ), from com- ( “together” ) + ponere ( “to put, place” )


    compose ( third-person singular simple present composes present participle composing, simple past and past participle composed )

    1. ( transitive ) To make something by merging parts. [ from later 15th c.]
      The editor composed a historical journal from many individual letters .
      Try to compose your thoughts .
    2. ( transitive ) To make up the whole; to constitute .
      A church is composed of its members .
      The members compose the church .
    3. ( transitive, nonstandard ) To comprise .
    4. ( transitive or intransitive ) To construct by mental labor; to think up; particularly, to produce or create a literary or musical work .
      The orator composed his speech over the week prior .
      Nine numbered symphonies, including the Fifth, were composed by Beethoven .
      It's difficult to compose without absolute silence .
    5. ( reflexive ) To calm oneself down .
      The defendant couldn't compose herself and was found in contempt .
    6. To arrange the elements of a photograph or other picture .
    7. To settle ( an argument, dispute etc. ); to come to a settlement.

    Related terms

Explanation of compose by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. make up plans or basic details for

    2. put together out of existing material

    3. produce a literary work

    4. She composed a poem
    5. write music

    6. Beethoven composed nine symphonies
    7. calm ( someone, especially oneself )

    8. She had to compose herself before she could reply to this terrible insult
    9. form the substance of

    10. Greed and ambition composed his personality

    Definition of compose by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Compose ( kŏmpōz ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Composed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Composing.] [F. composer; com- + poser to place. The sense is that of L. componere, but the origin is different. See Pose, v. t.]
      1. To form by putting together two or more things or parts; to put together; to make up; to fashion.

      Zeal ought to be composed of the highest degrees of all pious affection. Bp. Sprat.

      2. To form the substance of, or part of the substance of; to constitute.

      Their borrowed gold composed

      The calf in Oreb. Milton.

      A few useful things . . . compose their intellectual possessions. I. Watts.

      3. To construct by mental labor; to design and execute, or put together, in a manner involving the adaptation of forms of expression to ideas, or to the laws of harmony or proportion; as, “to compose a sentence, a sermon, a symphony, or a picture”.

      Let me compose

      Something in verse as well as prose. Pope.

      The genius that composed such works as the “Standard” and “Last Supper”. B. R. Haydon.

      4. To dispose in proper form; to reduce to order; to put in proper state or condition; to adjust; to regulate.

      In a peaceful grave my corpse compose. Dryden.

      How in safety best we may

      Compose our present evils. Milton.

      5. To free from agitation or disturbance; to tranquilize; to soothe; to calm; to quiet.

      Compose thy mind;

      Nor frauds are here contrived, nor force designed. Dryden.

      6. ( Print. ) To arrange ( types ) in a composing stick in order for printing; to set ( type ).

    2. Compose, v. i. To come to terms. [Obs.] Shak.