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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Composition


COMPOSITION, noun s as z.

1. In a general sense, the act of composing, or that which is composed; the act of forming a whole or integral, by placing together and uniting different things, parts or ingredients; or the whole body, mass or compound, thus formed. Thus we speak of the composition of medicines, by mixing divers ingredients, and call the whole mixture a composition A composition of sand and clay is used for luting chimical vessels.

Vast pillars of stone, cased over with a composition that looks like marble.

Heat and vivacity, in age, is an excellent composition for business.

2. In literature, the act of inventing or combining ideas, clothing them with words, arranging them in order, and in general, committing them to paper, or otherwise writing them. Hence,

3. A written or printed work; a writing, pamphlet or book.

4. In music, the act or art of forming tunes; or a tune, song, anthem, air, or other musical piece.

5. The state of being placed together; union; conjunction; combination.

Contemplate things first in their simple natures, and then view them in composition

6. The disposition or arrangement of figures connected in a picture.

By composition is meant the distribution and orderly placing of things, both in general and particular.

7. Adjustment; orderly disposition. Ben Jonson speaks of the composition of gesture, look, pronunciation and motion, in a preacher.

8. Mutual agreement to terms or conditions for the settlement of a difference or controversy.

Thus we are agreed;

I crave our composition may be written.

9. Mutual agreement for the discharge of a debt, on terms or by means different from those required by the original contract, or by law, as by the payment of a different sum, or by making other compensation. Hence, the sum so paid, or compensation given, in lieu of that stipulated or required.

A read composition is when an agreement is made between the owner of lands and the parson or vicar, with the consent of the ordinary and the patron, that such lands shall for the future be discharged rom the payment of tithes, by reason of some land or other real recompense given to the parson, in lieu and satisfaction thereof.

A bankrupt is cleared by a commission of bankruptcy, or by composition with his creditors.

10. Consistency; congruity.

11. The act of uniting simple ideas in a complex idea or conception; opposed to analysis.

12. The joining of two words in a compound, as in book-case; or the act of forming a word with a prefix or affix, which varies its signification; as return, from turn; preconcert, from concert; endless from end.

13. The synthetical method of reasoning; synthesis; a method of reasoning from known or admitted truths or principles, as from axioms, postulates or propositions previously demonstrated, and from these deducing a clear knowledge of the thing to be proved; or the act of collecting scattered parts of knowledge, and combining them into a system, so that the understanding is enabled distinctly to follow truth through its different stages of gradation. This method of reasoning is opposed to analysis or resolution. It begins with first principles, and by a train of reasoning from them, deduces the propositions or truths sought. composition or synthesis proceeds by collecting or combining; analysis or resolution, by separating or unfolding.

14. In printing, the act of setting types or characters in the composing-stick, to form lines, and of arranging the lines in a galley, to make a column or page, and from this to make a form.

15. In chimistry, the combination of different substances, or substances of different natures, by affinity; from which results a compound substance, differing in properties from either of the component parts. Thus water is a composition of hydrogen and oxygen, which are invisible gases.