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.

Primary Meanings of composition

the way in which someone or something is composed
the spatial property resulting from the arrangement of parts in relation to each other and to the whole
art and technique of printing with movable type
musical creation
Full Definitions of composition

n 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

n 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
Type of:
(chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)

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

“harmonious composition is essential in a serious work of art”
Type of:
arrangement, placement
the spatial property of the way in which something is placed

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

“he envied the composition of their faculty”
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
Type of:
an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone

n art and technique of printing with movable type

Type of:
printing, printing process
reproduction by applying ink to paper as for publication

n 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

n a musical work that has been created

“the composition is written in four movements”
musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music
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(Judaism) a chant of praise (Psalms 113 through 118) used at Passover and Shabuoth and Sukkoth and Hanukkah and Rosh Hodesh
Hare Krishna
a chant to the Hindu god Krishna
Dies Irae
the first words of a medieval Latin hymn describing the Last Judgment (literally `day of wrath')
a revolutionary socialist anthem
Te Deum
an ancient liturgical hymn
the French national anthem
The Star-Spangled Banner
a poem written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 was set to music and adopted by Congress in 1931 as the national anthem of the United States
(Luke) the canticle of the Virgin Mary (from Luke 1:46 beginning `Magnificat anima mea Dominum')
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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
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 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
a fast movement (usually in triple time)
(music) an instrumental suite common in the 18th century
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 woman
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

n 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

n an essay (especially one written as an assignment)

“he got an A on his composition
paper, report, theme
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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