WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
com•po•si•tion /ˌkɑmpəˈzɪʃən/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. [uncountable] the elements of which something is composed;
  2. a material formed from two or more substances[countable]various compositions of different toxic chemicals.
  3. Literature the act or process of producing a piece of writing[uncountable]the art of composition.
  4. Education something composed, such as a short essay or a piece of music[countable]Write a composition on how you spent your summer vacation.
  5. Fine Art the organization of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a whole[uncountable]The painting's composition is excellent but the color scheme is odd.
See -pos-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
com•po•si•tion  (kom′pə zishən), 
  1. the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.
  2. the resulting state or product.
  3. manner of being composed; structure:This painting has an orderly composition.
  4. makeup; constitution:His moral composition was impeccable.
  5. an aggregate material formed from two or more substances:a composition of silver and tin.
  6. Educationa short essay written as a school exercise.
  7. Literaturethe act or process of producing a literary work.
  8. Educationan academic course for teaching the techniques of clear, expository writing.
  9. the art of putting words and sentences together in accordance with the rules of grammar and rhetoric.
  10. Music and Dancea piece of music.
  11. Music and Dancethe art of composing music.
  12. Fine Art[Fine Arts.]the organization or grouping of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a unified whole.
  13. Grammar[Gram.]the formation of compounds or derivatives:the composition of "aircraft'' from "air'' and "craft.''
  14. a settlement by mutual agreement.
  15. an agreement or compromise, esp. one by which a creditor or group of creditors accepts partial payment from a debtor.
  16. a sum of money so paid.
  17. [Print.]
      • the setting up of type for printing.
      • Also called pagination. the makeup of pages for printing.
  18. Mathematics[Math.]the process of making a composite function of two given functions.
  • Latin compositiōn- (stem of compositiō), equivalent. to composit(us) (see composite) + -iōn- -ion
  • Anglo-French
  • Middle English composicioun 1350–1400
com′po•sition•al, adj. 
com′po•sition•al•ly, adv. 
com•pos•i•tive  (kəm pozi tiv), 
com•posi•tive•ly, adv. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

composition /ˌkɒmpəˈzɪʃən/ n
  1. the act of putting together or making up by combining parts or ingredients
  2. something formed in this manner or the resulting state or quality; a mixture
  3. the parts of which something is composed or made up; constitution
  4. a work of music, art, or literature
  5. the harmonious arrangement of the parts of a work of art in relation to each other and to the whole
  6. a piece of writing undertaken as an academic exercise in grammatically acceptable writing; an essay
  7. the act or technique of setting up type
  8. a settlement by mutual consent, esp a legal agreement whereby the creditors agree to accept partial payment of a debt in full settlement
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French, from Latin compositus; see composite, -ion

'composition' also found in these entries:

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