• (GA) enPR: kəm-pōzʹ, IPA: /kəmˈpoʊz/
  • (RP) enPR: kəm-pōzʹ, IPA: /kəmˈpəʊz/

compose (composes, present participle composing; 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: sich fassen, sich beruhigen
  • Portuguese: recompor-se
  • Russian: собира́ться

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