Compose
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Compose
See also: composé

English

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Etymology

Borrowed from Old French composer ("to compose, compound, adjust, settle"), from com- + poser, as an adaptation of Latin componere ("to put together, compose"), from com- ("together") + ponere ("to put, place")

Pronunciation

Verb

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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Sprat and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Zeal ought to be composed of the highest degrees of all pious affection.
  2. (transitive) To make up the whole; to constitute.
    A church is composed of its members.
    • (Can we date this quote by I. Watts and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A few useful things [...] compose their intellectual possessions.
  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.
    • 1714, Alexander Pope, Imitation of Horace, Book II. Sat. 6
      Let me [...] compose / Something in Verse as true as Prose.
    • (Can we date this quote by B. R. Haydon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the genius that composed such works as the "Standard" and "Last Supper"
  5. (sometimes reflexive) To calm; to free from agitation.
    Try to compose your thoughts.
    The defendant couldn't compose herself and was found in contempt.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Compose thy mind; / Nor frauds are here contrived, nor force designed.
  6. To arrange the elements of a photograph or other picture.
  7. To settle (an argument, dispute etc.); to come to a settlement.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 280:
      By trying his best to compose matters with the mullahs, he had sincerely shown that he did not seek a violent collision [...]
  8. To arrange in proper form; to reduce to order; to put in proper state or condition.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      In a peaceful grave my corpse compose.
    • 1667, John Milton, "Book 2", in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [...] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [...] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [...], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [...], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [...], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      How in safety best we may / Compose our present evils.
  9. (printing, dated) To arrange (types) in a composing stick for printing; to typeset.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

French

Verb

compose

  1. first-person singular present indicative of composer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of composer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of composer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of composer
  5. second-person singular imperative of composer

Italian

Verb

compose

  1. third-person singular past historic of comporre

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