com·pose / kəmˈpōz/ • v. [tr.] 1. write or create (a work of art, esp. music or poetry). ∎ write or phrase (a letter or piece of writing) with care and thought: the first sentence is so hard to compose. ∎ form (a whole) by ordering or arranging the parts, esp. in an artistic way: compose and draw a still life. ∎ order or arrange (parts) to form a whole, esp. in an artistic way. 2. (usu. be composed) (of elements) constitute or make up (a whole): the system is composed of a group of machines. ∎ be (a specified number or amount) of a whole: Christians compose 40 percent of the state's population. 3. calm or settle (oneself or one's features or thoughts): she tried to compose herself. 4. prepare (a text) for printing by manually, mechanically, or electronically setting up the letters and other characters in the order to be printed. ∎ set up (letters and characters) in this way.
A. put together, make up XV; set up (type);
B. arrange, adjust; pacify, tranquillize XVII. — (O)F. composer, based on L. compōnere; see COMPOUND 2, POSE 1.
Hence composure †composition, in various senses XVI; composed state XVII; see -URE. So composite (archit.) fifth of the classical orders XVI; of compound structure XVII. — F. composite or L. compositus, pp. of compōnere. composition XIV. — (O)F. — L. compositor †(Sc.) arbiter XIV; type-setter XVI. — AN. — L.