Meaning of composition


Composition is another word for writing — the act of writing or the piece of writing that results. It also refers to what something is made of.

The word composition comes from the Latin componere, meaning “put together” and its meaning remains close to this. Writing classes are often called composition classes, and writing music is also called composition. This can also describe things besides writing that are “put together.” You could say an abstract painting has an interesting composition. Any mixture of ingredients can be called a composition. Geologists study the composition of the earth: what it’s made of and how it formed.

Definitions of composition
  1. noun

    the way in which someone or something is composed


    constitution, make-up, makeup, physical composition

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    the manner of construction of something and the arrangement of its parts

    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
    grain, texture

    the physical composition of something (especially with respect to the size and shape of the small constituents of a substance)

    the appearance of the chromosomal makeup of a somatic cell in an individual or species (including the number and arrangement and size and structure of the chromosomes)
    infrastructure, substructure

    the basic structure or features of a system or organization
    architecture, computer architecture

    (computer science) the structure and organization of a computer’s hardware or system software
    cytoarchitectonics, cytoarchitecture

    the cellular composition of a bodily structure
    fabric, framework

    the underlying structure
    type of:


    a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class

  2. noun

    a mixture of ingredients

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    any mixture of a soft and malleable consistency
    ambrosia, beebread

    a mixture of nectar and pollen prepared by worker bees and fed to larvae

    a mixture of decaying vegetation and manure; used as a fertilizer

    any composition having a consistency suggestive of soup
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    (chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)

  3. noun

    the spatial property resulting from the arrangement of parts in relation to each other and to the whole

    composition is essential in a serious work of art”


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    type of:

    arrangement, placement

    the spatial property of the way in which something is placed

  4. noun

    something that is created by arranging several things to form a unified whole

    “he envied the
    composition of their faculty”
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    a composition of flat objects pasted on a board or other backing
    collage, montage

    a paste-up made by sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form an artistic image
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    an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone

  5. noun

    art and technique of printing with movable type



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    type of:

    printing, printing process

    reproduction by applying ink to paper as for publication

  6. noun

    musical creation



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    arrangement, arranging, transcription

    the act of arranging and adapting a piece of music
    realisation, realization

    the completion or enrichment of a piece of music left sparsely notated by a composer

    (music) the repetition of themes introduced earlier (especially when one is composing the final part of a movement)

    changing an arrangement
    instrumentation, orchestration

    the act of arranging a piece of music for an orchestra and assigning parts to the different musical instruments

    an arrangement of events that attempts to achieve a maximum effect
    type of:

    creating by mental acts

    the act of creating something by thinking

  7. noun

    a musical work that has been created

    composition is written in four movements”

    musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music

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    a short literary or musical composition
    sheet music

    a musical composition in printed or written form
    arrangement, musical 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

    a short piece of instrumental music composed for performance between acts of a drama or opera

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow

    a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services

    a musical composition for one voice or instrument (with or without accompaniment)
    duet, duette, duo

    a musical composition for two performers

    a musical composition for three performers
    quartet, quartette

    a musical composition for four performers
    quintet, quintette

    a musical composition for five performers
    sestet, sextet, sextette

    a musical composition written for six performers
    septet, septette

    a musical composition written for seven performers
    octet, octette

    a musical composition written for eight performers

    a light piece of music for piano
    divertimento, serenade

    a musical composition in several movements; has no fixed form

    a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts

    a short composition for a solo instrument; intended as an exercise or to demonstrate technical virtuosity
    idyl, idyll, pastoral, pastorale

    a musical composition that evokes rural life

    a baroque musical composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with full chords and rapid elaborate runs in a rhythmically free style

    a musical composition of a free form usually incorporating several familiar themes
    musical passage, passage

    a short section of a musical composition

    a major self-contained part of a symphony or sonata

    (music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner

    (music) a composition or passage played in a slow tempo slightly faster than largo but slower than adagio

    a musical composition of several movements only loosely connected
    symphonic poem, tone poem

    an orchestral composition based on literature or folk tales
    medley, pastiche, potpourri

    a musical composition consisting of a series of songs or other musical pieces from various sources
    nocturne, notturno

    a pensive lyrical piece of music (especially for the piano)

    (music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)
    song, vocal

    a short musical composition with words

    a composition intended to develop one aspect of the performer’s technique

    an instrumental composition that doesn’t adhere to rules for any specific musical form and is played with improvisation

    an unaccompanied choral composition with sacred lyrics; intended to be sung as part of a church service; originated in the 13th century
    program music, programme 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

    an improvisational and emotional musical composition with an irregular form
    lead sheet

    a sheet containing the words and melody for a song (and some indication of harmony) written in simple form
    piano music

    sheet music to be played on a piano
    musical score, score

    a written form of a musical composition; parts for different instruments appear on separate staves on large pages
    religious song

    religious music for singing

    an arrangement of a piece of music for performance by an orchestra or band

    the instruments called for in a musical score or arrangement for a band or orchestra

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed quickly in a brisk lively manner

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed at a somewhat quicker tempo than andante but not as fast as allegro

    a musical composition or musical passage to be performed moderately slow

    a short movement coming between the major sections of a symphony

    composition (often improvised) for a solo instrument (especially solo organ) and not a regular part of a religious service or musical performance
    enigma canon, enigmatic canon, enigmatical canon, riddle canon

    a canon in which the entrances of successive parts were indicated by cryptic symbols and devices (popular in the 15th and 16th centuries)

    a brief introductory passage to a piece of popular music
    musical phrase, phrase

    a short musical passage

    the close of a musical section

    a brilliant solo passage occurring near the end of a piece of music

    (music) a composition or passage that is to be performed in a slow and dignified manner

    a fast movement (usually in triple time)

    (music) an instrumental suite common in the 18th century

    (music) a composition played in adagio tempo (slowly and gracefully)

    a song of devotion or loyalty (as to a nation or school)

    an elaborate song for solo voice
    ballad, lay

    a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
    barcarole, barcarolle

    a boating song sung by Venetian gondoliers

    a short simple song (or the words of a poem intended to be sung)
    coronach, dirge, lament, requiem, threnody

    a song or hymn of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person
    drinking song

    a song celebrating the joys of drinking; sung at drinking parties
    folk ballad, folk song, folksong

    a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture

    a German art song of the 19th century for voice and piano
    love song, love-song

    a song about love or expressing love for another person
    berceuse, cradlesong, lullaby

    a quiet song intended to lull a child to sleep
    golden oldie, oldie

    a song that was formerly popular

    a song with two or more voice parts
    prothalamion, prothalamium

    a song in celebration of a marriage

    a song in which a line or phrase is repeated as the refrain
    banquet song, scolion

    a song (sometimes improvised) sung by guests at a banquet

    a song characteristically played outside the house of a love interest
    torch song

    a popular song concerned with disappointment in love
    work song

    a usually rhythmical song to accompany repetitious work

    a vocal passage of narrative text that a singer delivers with natural rhythms of speech
    modulation, transition

    a musical passage moving from one key to another

    a short musical passage that seems to have been made spontaneously without advance preparation
    type of:


    an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner

  8. noun

    the act of creating written works


    authorship, penning, writing

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    fine writing in praise of trivial or base subjects

    writing a first version to be filled out and polished later
    dramatisation, dramatization

    conversion into dramatic form
    fabrication, fictionalisation, fictionalization

    writing in a fictional form

    the writing of history

    writing a metrical composition (or the metrical structure of a composition)
    novelisation, novelization

    converting something into the form of a novel

    the act of putting something in writing

    the act of writing dictionaries

    the art or practice of writing verse
    type of:

    verbal creation

    creating something by the use of speech and language

  9. noun

    an essay (especially one written as an assignment)

    “he got an A on his

    paper, report, theme

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    term paper

    a composition intended to indicate a student’s progress during a school term
    type of:


    an analytic or interpretive literary composition

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