American English

Definition of composed adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1be composed of something to be made or formed from several parts, things, or people The committee is composed mainly of lawyers. Thesaurusconsist of somebody/somethingcomprise make up something constitute be composed of somebody/somethingThese words all mean to be formed from the things or people mentioned, or to be the parts that form something.consist of somebody/something to be formed from the things, people, or activities mentioned:Their diet consists largely of vegetables.comprise (somewhat formal) to contain or be formed from the things or people mentioned:The collection comprises 327 paintings. Comprise can also be used to refer to the parts or members of something:Older people comprise a large proportion of those living in poverty.However, this is less frequent.make up something (somewhat informal) to be the parts or people that form something:Women make up 56% of the student body.constitute to be the parts or people that form something:People under the age of 40 constitute the majority of the work composed of somebody/something (somewhat formal) to be formed from the things or people mentioned:Around 15% of our diet is composed of protein.which word?Consist of somebody/something is the most general of these words and the only one that can be used for activities with the gerund:The experiment consisted of training and testing subjects.The other main difference is between those verbs that take the whole as the subject and the parts as the object (The group consists of/comprises/is made up of/is composed of ten people.) and those that take the parts as the subject and the whole as the object (Ten people make up/constitute/comprise the group.) It is not correct to use “comprises of” or “is composed by/from.”
  2. 2[not usually before noun] calm and in control of your feelings She seemed outwardly composed. He remained perfectly composed and calm.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: composed

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