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[kuh m-poh-nuh nt, kom-] /kəmˈpoʊ nənt, kɒm-/
a constituent part; element; ingredient.
a part of a mechanical or electrical system:
hi-fi components.
Physics. the projection of a vector quantity, as force or velocity, along an axis.
Physical Chemistry. one of the set of the minimum number of chemical constituents by which every phase of a given system can be described.
  1. a connected subset of a set, not contained in any other connected subset of the set.
  2. a coordinate of a vector.
  1. one of the major subdivisions of a generative grammar:
    base component; transformational component; semantic component; phonological component.
    Compare level (def 16).
  2. a feature determined by componential analysis.
being or serving as an element (in something larger); composing; constituent:
the component parts of a computer system.
Origin of component
1555-65; < Latin compōnent- (stem of compōnēns, present participle of compōnere to put together), equivalent to com- com- + pōn(ere) to put + -ent- -ent
Related forms
[kom-puh-nen-shuh l] /ˌkɒm pəˈnɛn ʃəl/ (Show IPA),
componental, adjective
componented, adjective
subcomponent, noun
1. See element. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for component
  • While the intellectual component is certainly a compelling part of the endeavor, making art is also a physical experience.
  • He has trouble accepting the element of charlatanism that is a necessary component of a theatrical imagination.
  • Perhaps there is no more important component of character than steadfast resolution.
  • The nation, on those subjects on which it can act, must necessarily bind its component parts.
  • The state component of foreign debt has declined, but commercial debt to foreigners has risen strongly.
  • But the former position of the component elements does not matter for our purpose.
  • From early settlement days, the cultural arts have been an important component of cities and towns across the state.
  • If salt is a functional component of the recipe, by all means, it should be included.
  • The more fraught component of the opera's legacy has been its treatment of race.
  • Cellulose is a major component of wood, giving that material its signature strength.
British Dictionary definitions for component


a constituent part or aspect of something more complex: a component of a car
Also called element. any electrical device, such as a resistor, that has distinct electrical characteristics and that may be connected to other electrical devices to form a circuit
  1. one of a set of two or more vectors whose resultant is a given vector
  2. the projection of this given vector onto a specified line
one of the minimum number of chemically distinct constituents necessary to describe fully the composition of each phase in a system See phase rule
forming or functioning as a part or aspect; constituent
Derived Forms
componential (ˌkɒmpəˈnɛnʃəl) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin compōnere to put together, from pōnere to place, put
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for component

1640s, "constitutional element" (earlier "one of a group of persons," 1560s), from Latin componentem (nominative componens), present participle of componere "to put together" (see composite). As an adjective, from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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component in Technology

An object adhering to a component architecture.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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