Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MUSIC

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: composer, from Latin componere; COMPOUND2

compose

verb
     
com‧pose
1
a)

be composed of something

to be formed from a number of substances, parts, or people [= consist of]:
Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
The legal system is composed of people, and people make mistakes.
b) [transitive not in progressive] formal to combine together to form something [= make up]:
More than 17.6 million firms compose the business sector of our economy.
2 [intransitive and transitive]APM to write a piece of music [↪ composer, composition]:
Barrington has composed the music for a new production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
3

compose a letter/poem/speech etc

to write a letter, poem etc, thinking very carefully about it as you write it:
Compose a letter to your local paper stating your views on an issue of your choice.
4
a)

compose yourself

to try hard to become calm after feeling very angry, upset, or excited:
Lynn took several deep breaths to compose herself.
b)

compose your face/features/thoughts

to make yourself look or feel calm [↪ composure]:
When asked a question, give yourself a second to compose your thoughts.
5 [transitive] to arrange the parts of a painting, photograph, or scene in a way that achieves a particular result:
I like the way he composes his photographs.
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