9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kom-pohst] /ˈkɒm poʊst/
a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.
a composition; compound.
verb (used with object)
to use in compost; make compost of:
to compost manure and kitchen scraps.
to apply compost to (soil).
verb (used without object)
to make compost:
Shredded leaves will compost easily.
Origin of compost
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French < Latin compositum, noun use of neuter of compositus composite; cf. compote
Related forms
compostable, adjective
composter, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for composting
  • The company website even includes a tutorial on composting at home, whether you live in the country or in a tiny apartment.
  • The house is powered in part through solar energy, and it has a composting toilet.
  • The one likely draw-back to plastic tubs is too much moisture, so that things ferment instead of composting.
  • People would do a lot more composting, he says, if they had biodegradable bags to help them.
  • For gardeners with no room for a traditional compost pile or bin, worm composting is a solution.
  • If you really want to go green, go with a composting toilet.
  • Conventional composting uses oxygen-fed organisms to break down organic matter.
  • Eliminate sewage altogether by adopting composting toilets and grey water recycling.
  • And, recycling and composting cost much less and create jobs.
  • There were two other thoughtfully placed bins: one for paper towels and one for composting the discards.
British Dictionary definitions for composting


a mixture of organic residues such as decomposed vegetation, manure, etc, used as a fertilizer
a mixture, normally of plant remains, peat, charcoal, etc, in which plants are grown, esp in pots
(rare) a compound or mixture
verb (transitive)
to make (vegetable matter) into compost
to fertilize with compost
Word Origin
C14: from Old French compost, from Latin compositus put together; see composite
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 composting



late 14c., compote, from Old French composte "mixture of leaves, manure, etc., for fertilizing land" (13c.), also "condiment," from Vulgar Latin *composita, noun use of fem. of Latin compositus, past participle of componere "to put together" (see composite). The fertilizer sense is attested in English from 1580s, and the French word in this sense is a 19th century borrowing from English.


"make into compost," 1829, from compost (n.). Related: Composted; composting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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composting in Science
A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilize soil. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it decompose as a result of the action of aerobic bacteria, fungi, and other organisms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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