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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun composition:

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Definition of the noun composition

What does composition mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: compositions

  1. the spatial property resulting from the arrangement of parts in relation to each other and to the whole
    • example: harmonious composition is essential in a serious work of art
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonym of composition: composing
    • more generic words: arrangement / placement = the spatial property of the way in which something is placed
  2. the way in which someone or something is composed
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonyms of composition: constitution / make-up / makeup / physical composition
    • more generic word: property = a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
    • more specific terms:
      • structure = the manner of construction of something and the arrangement of its parts
      • phenotype = what an organism looks like as a consequence of the interaction of its genotype and the environment
      • genetic constitution / genotype = the particular alleles at specified loci present in an organism
      • texture / grain = the physical composition of something
      • karyotype = the appearance of the chromosomal makeup of a somatic cell in an individual or species
  3. a mixture of ingredients
    • lexical domain: Substances - nouns denoting substances
    • more generic word: mixture = a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together
    • more specific words:
      • paste = any mixture of a soft and malleable consistency
      • ambrosia / beebread = a mixture of nectar and pollen prepared by worker bees and fed to larvae
      • compost = a mixture of decaying vegetation and manure
      • soup = any composition having a consistency suggestive of soup
  4. a musical work that has been created
    • example: the composition is written in four movements
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of composition: musical composition / opus / piece / piece of music
    • more generic word: music = an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
    • more specific terms:
      • morceau = a short literary or musical composition
      • sheet music = a musical composition in printed or written form
      • musical arrangement / arrangement = a piece of music that has been adapted for performance by a particular set of voices or instruments
      • realisation / realization = a musical composition that has been completed or enriched by someone other than the composer
      • intermezzo = a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between acts of a drama or opera
      • allegro = a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner
      • allegretto = a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro
      • andante = a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow
      • introit = a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services
      • solo = a musical composition for one voice or instrument
      • duette / duet / duo = a musical composition for two performers
      • trio = a musical composition for three performers
      • quartette / quartet = a musical composition for four performers
      • quintette / quintet = a musical composition for five performers
      • sextette / sestet / sextet = a musical composition written for six performers
      • septette / septet = a musical composition written for seven performers
      • octette / octet = a musical composition written for eight performers
      • bagatelle = a light piece of music for piano
      • divertimento / serenade = a musical composition in several movements
      • canon = a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
      • etude = a short composition for a solo instrument
      • pastorale / pastoral / idyll / idyl = a musical composition that evokes rural life
      • toccata = a baroque musical composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with full chords and rapid elaborate runs in a rhythmically free style
      • fantasia = a musical composition of a free form usually incorporating several familiar themes
      • musical passage / passage = a short section of a musical composition
      • movement = a major self-contained part of a symphony or sonata
      • largo = a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner
      • larghetto = a composition or passage played in a slow tempo slightly faster than largo but slower than adagio
      • suite = a musical composition of several movements only loosely connected
      • symphonic poem / tone poem = an orchestral composition based on literature or folk tales
      • potpourri / pastiche / medley = a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
      • nocturne / notturno = a pensive lyrical piece of music
      • adagio = a composition played in adagio tempo
      • vocal / song = a short musical composition with words
      • study = a composition intended to develop one aspect of the performer's technique
      • capriccio = an instrumental composition that doesn't adhere to rules for any specific musical form and is played with improvisation
      • motet = an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service
      • programme music / program music = musical compositions intended to evoke images or remind the listener of events
      • incidental music = music composed to accompany the action of a drama or to fill intervals between scenes
    • part: finale / coda = the closing section of a musical composition
  5. musical creation
  6. the act of creating written works
  7. art and technique of printing with movable type
  8. an essay (especially one written as an assignment)
    • example: he got an A on his composition
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of composition: paper / report / theme
    • more generic word: essay = an analytic or interpretive literary composition
    • more specific term: term paper = a composition intended to indicate a student's progress during a school term
  9. something that is created by arranging several things to form a unified whole
    • example: he envied the composition of their faculty
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic word: creation = an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone
    • more specific word: paste-up = a composition of flat objects pasted on a board or other backing

Alternative definition of the noun composition


  1. The combining of different parts to make a whole. [definition from 14th c.]
  2. The general makeup of something. [definition from 14th c.]
  3. [obsolete] An agreement or treaty used to settle differences; later especially, an agreement to stop hostilities; a truce. [definition 14th-19th c.]
  4. [obsolete] An agreement to pay money in order to clear a liability or obligation; a settling. [definition 16th-19th c.]
  5. A mixture or compound; the result of composing. [definition from 16th c.]
  6. An essay. [definition from 16th c.]
  7. [linguistics] The formation of compound words from separate words. [definition from 16th c.]
  8. A work of music, literature or art. [definition from 17th c.]
  9. [printing] typesetting. [definition from 19th c.]

Specialised definition of the noun composition

Glossary of sports

the make-up or structure of something (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / gymnastics

the overall arrangement of individual movements and skills into a gymnastics routine


  1. "Composition" is a musical album of Peter Murphy.
    • released in (26 years ago)
  2. "Composition" is a musical single of Satoshi Fumi.
    • released on
  3. "Composition" is a musical album of Ackky.
    • released on (4 years ago)


"Composition" is a book by Arthur Wesley Dow.

  • also known as "Composition; a series of exercises in art structure for the use of students and teachers"; "Composition: a series of exercises selected from a new system of art education. Part I"; "Composition: a series of exercises in art structure for the use of students and teachers"


  1. "Composition" is a painting (oil paint) by Lucien Labaudt, begun in (88 years ago).
    • media: oil paint
  2. "Composition" is a sculpture (bronze) by Umberto Mastroianni, begun in (58 years ago).
    • media: bronze


  1. Composition: The term composition, in written language, refers to the collective body of important features established by the author in their creation of literature. Composition relates to narrative works of literature, but also relates to essays, biographies, and other works established in the field of rhetoric.
  2. Composition: In mathematics, a composition of an integer n is a way of writing n as the sum of a sequence of positive integers. Two sequences that differ in the order of their terms define different compositions of their sum, while they are considered to define the same partition of that number. Every integer has finitely many distinct compositions. Negative numbers do not have any compositions, but 0 has one composition, the empty sequence. Each positive integer n has 2n−1 distinct compositions.
  3. Composition: A song or musical composition in this film.

Phrases with Composition

Phrases starting with the word Composition:

  1. Composition book
  2. composition board

Phrases ending with the word Composition:

  1. musical composition
  2. Chemical composition
  3. dramatic composition
  4. literary composition
  5. physical composition

Other phrase containing the word Composition:

  1. Vinyl composition tile

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Composition

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe School World (1911)

Composition means arrangement, and English composition is the arrangement, in speaking or writing English, of the right words in...

Google previewPractical Object-oriented Design in Ruby (2012)

An Agile Primer by Sandi Metz

Composition is the act of combining distinct parts into a complex whole such that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. Music, for example, is composed. You may not think of your software as music but the analogy is apt.

Google previewCanon PowerShot G12 (2011)

From Snapshots to Great Shots by Jeff Carlson

Composition is the culmination of light, shape, and to borrow a word from the iconic photographer Jay Maisel, gesture. Composition is a way for you to pull your viewing audience into your image and guide them through the scene.

Google previewNikon D5100 (2011)

From Snapshots to Great Shots by Rob Sylvan

Composition is the culmination of light, shape, and, to borrow a word from the iconic photographer Jay Maisel, gesture. Composition is a way for you to pull your viewing audience into your image and guide them through the scene.

Google previewTechnologies for E-Services (2005)

5th International Workshop, TES 2004, Toronto, Canada, August 29-30, 2004, Revised Selected Papers by Ming-Chien Shan, Umeshwar Dayal, Meichun Hsu

Service composition is a powerful tool to create new services rapidly by reusing existing ones.

Introduction Service composition refers to the technique of composing several existing services into a meaningful, richer service to meet the ...

Google previewAdvanced Information Systems Engineering (2008)

20th International Conference, CAiSE 2008 Montpellier, France, June 18-20, 2008, Proceedings by Zohra Bellahsène, Michel Léonard

Service composition is the fundamental process for Web service based application development, which constructs a composite service by composing basic Web services that may be distributed over the world. As this trend continues , more and ...

Google previewFoundations of Component-Based Systems (2000)

by Gary T. Leavens, Murali Sitaraman

Vertical composition refers to the hierarchical structuring of a system into layers, while horizontal composition refers to the structure of a given layer. Modules may involve information hiding, and views may involve behavioral satisfaction of a ...

Google previewPower of Art (2016)

by CTI Reviews

In the visual arts -- in particular painting, graphic design, photography and sculpture -- composition is the placement or...

Google previewDinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (2015)

by Rochelle Baltzer

Composition is the way parts of a drawing or picture are arranged. Balanced composition means having an even amount of parts, such as lines and shapes. Unbalanced Balanced Dimension Dimension is the amount of space an ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Food and Color Additives (1997)

by George A. Burdock

Fully hydrogenated rapeseed oil is a mixture of triglycerides in which the fatty acid composition is a mixture of saturated fatty acids. The fatty acids are present in the same proportions which result from the full hydrogenation of fatty acids ...

Google previewAlgebraic Methods II: Theory, Tools and Applications (1991)

by Jan A. Bergstra, Loe M.G. Feijs

composition is an important issue related to the manageability of the software development process [5], [6]. The COLD-K approach to module ...

Google previewEmerging Web Services Technology (2009)

by Walter Binder, Schahram Dustdar

Web service composition is a technology that has received considerable attention in the last number of years.

Web service composition is the process of linking single Web services together in order to accomplish more complex tasks.

Google previewSoftware Composition (2006)

5th International Symposium, SC 2006, Vienna, Austria, March 25-26, 2006, Revised Papers by Welf Löwe, Mario Südholt

Composition is the process of creating new artifacts from a set of input artifacts by combining the content of the input artifacts according to some given specifications. Composition engines are a distinct kind of software component.

Google previewPennsylvania School Journal (1903)

Composition is an important stepping- stone to better English. In it the purpose is to put the thought into the best...

One of the simplest forms of composition is the dictation exercise. This exercise is exceedingly valuable in helping the ...

Google previewThe Routledge Dictionary of Philosophy (2009)

by Michael Proudfoot, A.R. Lacey

Composition. and. division . 'Someone sitting could walk'mightbeinterpreted in the composite sense (sensus compositus)tomean'Someonecould walkwhile sitting', or in the divided sense (sensusdivisus)tomean 'Someone sitting could walk ...

Google previewElectric Railway Dictionary (2008)

by Rodney Hitt

Composition. will make gears and pinions last five times as long—it will give better results than any other lubricant on the market. The above cut shows the condition of a gear and pinion, after one year, nine months and twenty-three days ' ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of English Inflected Words, with the Syllabication of All the Words According to a System Founded on Well-defined Principles (1877)

And the System of Syllabication as Applied to Poetry and the Scansion of Verse. Forming Part II of The Handy English Word Book by James Stormonth

The quality of the measured tread or flow of the syllables in a poetical composition is called its rhythm. NoTE 1.—We say the rhythm of a verse or line is good, bad, or indifferent, according as the measured movement pleases and delights the ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Composition

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Photos about Composition

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Flower composition.Small photo of Flower composition.Small photo of Flower composition.Small photo of Flower composition.Small photo of Pears, composition of fruit.Small photo of Pears, composition of fruit.Small photo of Pears, composition of fruit. More...

Video language resources about Composition

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View more videos about Chemical composition and Vinyl composition tile.

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Quotes about Composition

Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book. (Edward Gibbon)
more quotes about composition...

Scrabble value of C3O1M3P3O1S1I1T1I1O1N1

The value of this 11-letter word is 17 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.


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