c. 1400, compousen, from Old French composer "put together, 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 (see composite; also see pose (v.)). Musical sense is from 1590s. Related: Composed; composing.
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