com·pos·ite (kəm-pŏzĭt, kŏmpə-zĭt)
a. Made up of distinct components; compound.
b. Made by combining two or more existing things, such as photographs.
2. Mathematics Having factors; factorable.
3. Botany Of, belonging to, or characteristic of the composite family.
4. Composite Architecture Of, relating to, or being in the Composite order.
1. A structure or entity made up of distinct components: a musical suite that is a composite of operatic themes.
2. 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.
3. Botany A plant in the composite family.
4. Mathematics The application of one function to another. For example, if (x) = x2 and g(x) = x + 1, then the composite (g(x)) = (x + 1)2 and the composite g((x)) = x2 + 1.
tr.v. com·pos·it·ed, com·pos·it·ing, com·pos·ites
1. To make using distinct components.
2. To make by combining two or more photographs or images.
[French, from Old French, from Latin compositus, past participle of compōnere, to put together; see COMPONENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.