1. calm; tranquil; serene: His composed face reassured the nervous passengers.

verb (used with object), com·posed, com·pos·ing.

  1. to make or form by combining things, parts, or elements: He composed his speech from many research notes.
  2. to be or constitute a part or element of: a rich sauce composed of many ingredients.
  3. to make up or form the basis of: Style composes the essence of good writing.
  4. to put or dispose in proper form or order: to compose laws into a coherent system.
  5. Art. to organize the parts or elements of (a picture or the like).
  6. to create (a musical, literary, or choreographic work).
  7. to end or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.): The union and management composed their differences.
  8. to bring (oneself, one’s mind, etc.) to a condition of calmness, repose, etc.; calm; quiet.
  9. Printing.
    1. to set (type).
    2. to set type for (an article, book, etc.).

verb (used without object), com·posed, com·pos·ing.

  1. to engage in composition, especially musical composition.
  2. to enter into composition; fall into an arrangement: a scene that composes well.


  1. (of people) calm; tranquil; serene

verb (mainly tr)

  1. to put together or make up by combining; put in proper order
  2. to be the component elements of
  3. to produce or create (a musical or literary work)
  4. (intr) to write music
  5. to calm (someone, esp oneself); make quiet
  6. to adjust or settle (a quarrel, etc)
  7. to order the elements of (a painting, sculpture, etc); design
  8. printing to set up (type)

“calm, tranquil,” c.1600, past participle adjective frome compose (v.). Related: Composedly; composedness.


c.1400, compousen, from Old French composer “put together, arrange, write” a work (12c.), from com- “with” (see com-) + poser “to place,” from Late Latin pausare “to cease, lay down,” ultimately from Latin ponere “to put, place” (see position (n.)). Meaning influenced in Old French by componere (see composite). Musical sense is from 1590s. Related: Composed; composing.

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