1. a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.
  2. a composition; compound.

verb (used with object)

  1. to use in compost; make compost of: to compost manure and kitchen scraps.
  2. to apply compost to (soil).

verb (used without object)

  1. to make compost: Shredded leaves will compost easily.


  1. a mixture of organic residues such as decomposed vegetation, manure, etc, used as a fertilizer
  2. a mixture, normally of plant remains, peat, charcoal, etc, in which plants are grown, esp in pots
  3. rare a compound or mixture

verb (tr)

  1. to make (vegetable matter) into compost
  2. to fertilize with compost

late 14c., compote, from Old French composte “mixture of leaves, manure, etc., for fertilizing land” (13c.), also “condiment,” from Vulgar Latin *composita, noun use of fem. of Latin compositus, past participle of componere “to put together” (see composite). The fertilizer sense is attested in English from 1580s, and the French word in this sense is a 19th century borrowing from English.


“make into compost,” 1829, from compost (n.). Related: Composted; composting.

  1. A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilize soil. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it decompose as a result of the action of aerobic bacteria, fungi, and other organisms.
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