Hypertext Webster Gateway: "composition"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Composition \Com`po*si"tion\, n. [F. composition, fr. L.
compositio. See {Composite}.]
1. The act or art of composing, or forming a whole or
integral, by placing together and uniting different
things, parts, or ingredients. In specific uses:
(a) The invention or combination of the parts of any
literary work or discourse, or of a work of art; as,
the composition of a poem or a piece of music. ``The
constant habit of elaborate composition.'' --Macaulay.
(b) (Fine Arts) The art or practice of so combining the
different parts of a work of art as to produce a
harmonious whole; also, a work of art considered as
such. See 4, below.
(c) The act of writing for practice in a language, as
English, Latin, German, etc.
(d) (Print.) The setting up of type and arranging it for

2. The state of being put together or composed; conjunction;
combination; adjustment.

View them in composition with other things. --I.

The elementary composition of bodies. --Whewell.

3. A mass or body formed by combining two or more substances;
as, a chemical composition.

A composition that looks . . . like marble.

4. A literary, musical, or artistic production, especially
one showing study and care in arrangement; -- often used
of an elementary essay or translation done as an
educational exercise.

5. Consistency; accord; congruity. [Obs.]

There is no composition in these news That gives
them credit. --Shak.

6. Mutual agreement to terms or conditions for the settlement
of a difference or controversy; also, the terms or
conditions of settlement; agreement.

Thus we are agreed: I crave our composition may be
written. --Shak.

7. (Law) The adjustment of a debt, or avoidance of an
obligation, by some form of compensation agreed on between
the parties; also, the sum or amount of compensation
agreed upon in the adjustment.

Compositions for not taking the order of knighthood.

Cleared by composition with their creditors.

8. Synthesis as opposed to analysis.

The investigation of difficult things by the method
of analysis ought ever to precede the method of
composition. --Sir I.

{Composition cloth}, a kind of cloth covered with a
preparation making it waterproof.

{Composition deed}, an agreement for composition between a
debtor and several creditors.

{Composition plane} (Crystallog.), the plane by which the two
individuals of a twin crystal are united in their reserved

{Composition of forces} (Mech.), the finding of a single
force (called the resultant) which shall be equal in
effect to two or more given forces (called the components)
when acting in given directions. --Herbert.

{Composition metal}, an alloy resembling brass, which is
sometimes used instead of copper for sheathing vessels; --
also called {Muntz metal} and {yellow metal}.

{Composition of proportion} (Math.), an arrangement of four
proportionals so that the sum of the first and second is
to the second as the sum of the third and fourth to the

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a mixture of ingredients
2: the way in which someone or something is composed [syn: {constitution},
3: 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" [syn: {composing}]
4: a musical work that has been created; "the composition is
written in four movements" [syn: {musical composition}, {opus},
{piece}, {piece of music}]
5: musical creation [syn: {composing}]
6: the act of creating written works; "writing was a form of
therapy for him"; "it was a matter of disputed authorship"
[syn: {writing}, {authorship}, {penning}]
7: art and technique of printing with movable type [syn: {typography}]
8: an essay (especially one written as an assignment); "he got
an A on his composition" [syn: {paper}, {report}, {theme}]
9: something that is created by arranging several things to
form a unified whole; "he envied the composition of their

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