v. com·posed, com·pos·ing, com·pos·es
1. To make up the constituent parts of; constitute or form: an exhibit composed of French paintings; the many ethnic groups that compose our nation. See Usage Note at comprise.
2. To make or create by putting together parts or elements.
3. To create or produce (a literary or musical piece).
4. To make (oneself) calm or tranquil: Compose yourself and deal with the problems logically.
5. To settle or adjust; reconcile: They managed to compose their differences.
6. To arrange aesthetically or artistically.
7. Printing To arrange or set (type or matter to be printed).
1. To create a literary or musical piece.
2. Printing To set type.
[Middle English composen, from Old French composer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin compōnere; see COMPONENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.