Etymology
Advertisement
compose (v.)

c. 1400, compousen, "to write" (a book), from Old French composer "put together, compound; adjust, arrange; write" a work (12c.), from com- "with, together" (see com-) + poser "to place," from Late Latin pausare "to cease, lay down" (see pause (n.)).

Meaning influenced in Old French by componere "to arrange, direct" (see composite; also see compound (v.), pose (v.)), which gradually was replaced in French by composer. Similar confusion is found in expose, oppose, repose (v.2), transpose, etc.

Meaning "to make or form by uniting two or more things" is from late 15c. Sense of "be the substance or elements of, make up" is from 1540s. Sense of "invent and put (music) into proper form" is from 1590s. From c. 1600 as "bring into a composed state, to cal, quiet;" from 1650s as "place (parts or elements) in proper form, arrange."

In painting, "combine into an arrangement with artistic effect" (1782). In printing, "put into type" (1630s), but the usual term among printers was set. Related: Composed; composing. The printers' composing room is from 1737.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
composed (adj.)

"calm, tranquil, free from disturbance or agitation," c. 1600, past-participle adjective from compose (v.). Earlier (1560s) "made up of parts." Related: Composedly; composedness.

Related entries & more 
composer (n.)

1590s, "one who writes and arranges musical pieces," agent noun from compose. Used in general sense of "one who combines into a whole" from 1640s, but the music sense remains the predominant one.

Related entries & more 
decompose (v.)

1750s, "to separate into components," from de- "opposite of" + compose (v.) in the sense of "make or form by uniting two or more things." Sense of "putrefy, become resolved into constituent elements" is by 1777. Related: Decomposed; decomposing.

Related entries & more 
composure (n.)

c. 1600, "composition, act of composing, constructing, arrangement" (also, in early use, with many senses now given to compound (n.2)), from compose + -ure. Sense of "tranquility, calmness, composed state of mind" is first recorded 1660s, from composed "calm" (c. 1600). For sense, compare colloquial fall apart "lose one's composure."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
appose (v.)
"to apply" (one thing to another), 1590s, either from French apposer (from a "to;" see ad-, + poser "to place;" see pose (v.1)), or else formed in English from Latin apponere "lay beside, set near; put upon, apply" (see apposite) on analogy of compose, expose, etc. In Middle English, an identical word was a variant spelling of oppose. Related: Apposed; apposing.
Related entries & more 
pen (v.1)

"to write, compose and commit to paper," late 15c., from pen (n.1). Related: Penned; penning.

Related entries & more 
versify (v.)
late 14c., "compose verse, write poetry, make verses," from Old French versifier "turn into verse" (13c.), from Latin versificare "compose verse; put into verse," from versus "verse" (see verse) + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Transitive sense of "put into verse" in English is from 1735. Related: Versified; versifying; versifier (mid-14c.).
Related entries & more 
orchestrate (v.)

"to compose or arrange (music) for an orchestra," 1855, back-formation from orchestration. The figurative sense ("to coordinate, combine harmoniously") is attested from 1883. Related: Orchestrated; orchestrating.

Related entries & more 
troubadour (n.)
1727, from French troubadour (16c.) "one of a class of lyric poets in southern France, eastern Spain, and northern Italy 11c.-13c.," from Old Provençal trobador, from trobar "to find," earlier "invent a song, compose in verse," perhaps from Vulgar Latin *tropare "compose, sing," especially in the form of tropes, from Latin tropus "a song" (from PIE root *trep- "to turn"). The alternative theory among French etymologists derives the Old Provençal word from a metathesis of Latin turbare "to disturb," via a sense of "to turn up." Meanwhile, Arabists posit an origin in Arabic taraba "to sing." General sense of "one who composes or sings verses or ballads" first recorded 1826.
Related entries & more