1690s, "fruit preserved in syrup," from French compote "stewed fruit, fruit preserved in syrup," from Old French composte (13c.) "mixture, compost," from Vulgar Latin *composita, fem. of compositus "placed together," past participle of componere "to put together, to collect a whole from several parts," from com "with, together" (seecom-) + ponere "to place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). Etymologically the same word as compost (n.).
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