from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Made up of distinct components; compound.
  • adjective Made by combining two or more existing things, such as photographs.
  • adjective Mathematics Having factors; factorable.
  • adjective Botany Of, belonging to, or characteristic of the composite family.
  • adjective Architecture Of, relating to, or being in the Composite order.
  • noun A structure or entity made up of distinct components.
  • noun A material in which two or more distinct, structurally complementary materials, usually a matrix material and a reinforcing material, are combined to produce structural or functional properties not present in any individual component. Wood, bone, concrete, plastic reinforced by glass fibers, and graphite reinforced with carbon fibers are all composite materials.
  • noun Botany A plant in the composite family.
  • noun Mathematics The application of one function to another. For example, if ƒ(x) = x2 and g(x) = x + 1, then the composite ƒ(g(x)) = (x + 1)2 and the composite g(ƒ(x)) = x2 + 1.
  • transitive verb To make using distinct components.
  • transitive verb To make by combining two or more photographs or images.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Made up of distinct parts or elements; compounded; especially, so combined as to manifest diversity of origin or make-up.
  • Specifically Made of parts so combined as to lose their distinctive characters.
  • [capitalized] In architecture, an epithet applied to the last of the five orders, because the capital which characterizes it is composed from those of other orders, borrowing a quarter-round from the Tuscan or Roman Doric, a rank of leaves from the Corinthian, and volutes from the Ionic.
  • In ship-building, having a wooden skin on an iron framework: as, a composite vessel; a vessel built on the composite principle.
  • In botany, belonging to the order Compositœ; having the characters of this order: as, a composite plant; a composite flower. See Compositæ.
  • In zoology, marked (as a genus, order, etc.) by wide range of variation in the species or other subdivisions which constitute it: often applied to artificial groups composed of widely separated elements.
  • noun Something made up of parts or different elements; a compound; a composition.
  • noun Specifically, a composite photograph.
  • noun In botany, one of the Compositæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare That which is made up of parts or compounded of several elements; composition; combination; compound.
  • adjective Made up of distinct parts or elements; compounded.
  • adjective (Arch.) Belonging to a certain order which is composed of the Ionic order grafted upon the Corinthian. It is called also the Roman or the Italic order, and is one of the five orders recognized by the Italian writers of the sixteenth century. See Capital.
  • adjective (Bot.) Belonging to the order Compositæ; bearing involucrate heads of many small florets, as the daisy, thistle, and dandelion.
  • adjective [Eng.] a railroad car having compartments of different classes.
  • adjective (Math.) one which can be divided exactly by a number exceeding unity, as 6 by 2 or 3.
  • adjective one made by a combination, or blending, of several distinct photographs.
  • adjective (Naut.) a combination of parallel and great circle sailing.
  • adjective one with a wooden casing and iron frame.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Made up of multiple components; compound or complex.
  • adjective architecture Being a mixture of Ionic and Corinthian styles.
  • adjective mathematics Not prime; having factors.
  • adjective botany Being a member of the Asteraceae family (formerly known as Compositae).
  • noun A mixture of different components.
  • noun A structural material that gains its strength from a combination of complementary materials.
  • noun botany A plant belonging to the family Compositae.
  • noun mathematics A function of a function.
  • noun A drawing, photograph, or the like, that combines several separate pictures or images.
  • verb To make a composite.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective consisting of separate interconnected parts
  • noun considered the most highly evolved dicotyledonous plants, characterized by florets arranged in dense heads that resemble single flowers
  • noun a conceptual whole made up of complicated and related parts
  • adjective of or relating to or belonging to the plant family Compositae


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, from Latin compositus, past participle of compōnere, to put together; see component.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French composite, from Latin compositus, past participle of componere ‘put together’.


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