—compositional, adj. —compositionally, adv. —compositive /keuhm poz"i tiv/, adj. —compositively, adv./kom'peuh zish"euhn/, n.1. the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.2. the resulting state or product.3. manner of being composed; structure: This painting has an orderly composition.4. makeup; constitution: His moral composition was impeccable.5. an aggregate material formed from two or more substances: a composition of silver and tin.6. a short essay written as a school exercise.7. the act or process of producing a literary work.8. an academic course for teaching the techniques of clear, expository writing.9. the art of putting words and sentences together in accordance with the rules of grammar and rhetoric.10. a piece of music.11. the art of composing music.12. Fine Arts. the organization or grouping of the different parts of a work of art so as to achieve a unified whole.13. Gram. the formation of compounds or derivatives: the composition of "aircraft" from "air" and "craft."14. a settlement by mutual agreement.15. an agreement or compromise, esp. one by which a creditor or group of creditors accepts partial payment from a debtor.16. a sum of money so paid.17. Print.a. the setting up of type for printing.b. Also called pagination. the makeup of pages for printing.18. Math. the process of making a composite function of two given functions.[1350-1400; ME composicioun < AF < L composition- (s. of compositio), equiv. to composit(us) (see COMPOSITE) + -ion- -ION]
* * *▪ ancient Germanic lawin ancient Germanic law, money given to a person who had been wronged or injured by the person responsible for the act. Composition arose among the Germanic peoples as an alternative to blood feud and personal vengeance. The amount paid was determined by a man's worth, or wer, which in turn was determined by his status in society. If he died, the money went to his family; in certain cases part went to the lord or king, as compensation for loss of a vassal. Although the right to composition and the amount paid originally arose out of an agreement between the parties involved, these issues were later settled by law. See also wergild.▪ lawin modern law, an agreement among the creditors (credit) of an insolvent debtor to accept an amount less than they are owed, in order to receive immediate payment. When it appears that a debtor will not be able to satisfy all or even any of his creditors, the latter will often agree to accept equal proportions of what they are owed—for example, 25 cents on the dollar. At this point the initial claims are liquidated. If the debtor does not fulfill the agreement, then the creditors may demand only what is due them under it, rather than the full amount.It is necessary, however, to distinguish between a composition among creditors and one that falls within jurisdiction of a court. The former is regulated entirely by the creditors, while the latter is supervised by the court. With court supervision, the creditors have a greater protection against fraud and a greater assurance that their interests will be safeguarded. A court-regulated composition requires litigation, however, often saddling the debtor with additional fees that may affect his ability to fulfill the agreement or, indeed, even lower the amount that he is able to agree to. Composition out of court has, therefore, become the preferred procedure.
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