composure

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

compose +‎ -ure

Noun[edit]

composure (countable and uncountable, plural composures)

  1. Calmness of mind or matter, self-possession.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, London, Book 6, lines 559-560,[1]
      That all may see who hate us, how we seek
      Peace and composure []
    • 1724, Isaac Watts, Logick: Or, The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry after Truth, London: John Clark & Richard Hett, 3rd edition, 1729, Chapter 3, Section 3, p. 203,[2]
      It would be also of great Use to us to form our deliberate Judgments of Persons and Things in the calmest and serenest Hours of Life, when the Passions of Nature are all silent, and the Mind enjoys its most perfect Composure []
    • 1847, Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Chapter XII
      “Did you want anything, ma’am?” I enquired, still preserving my external composure, in spite of her ghastly countenance and strange exaggerated manner.
    • 1894, Arthur Machen (translator), The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt by Giacomo Casanova, London: Elek Books, Volume 4, Chapter 16, p. 407,[3]
      He began to lose his composure, and made mistakes, his cards got mixed up, and his scoring was wild.
    • 2011 September 2, “Wales 2-1 Montenegro”, in BBC[4]:
      Montenegro's early composure was shaken by that set-back and a visibly buoyed Wales nearly added a second goal when Bale broke past two defenders and fired a long-range shot that Bozovic tipped over
  2. (obsolete) The act of composing, or that which is composed; a composition.
    • 1818, John Evelyn, Memoirs, edited by William Bray, London: Henry Colburn, 2nd edition, Volume I, entry for 10 March, 1685, p. 592,[5]
      [] Signr Pietro [] had an admirable way both of composure [in music] and teaching.
  3. (obsolete) Orderly adjustment; disposition.
    • 1695, John Woodward, An Essay toward a Natural History of the Earth and Terrestrial Bodies, London: Richard Wilkin, Part 5, p. 230,[6]
      [] from the various Composures and Combinations of these Corpusoles together, happen all the Varieties of the Bodies formed out of them []
  4. (obsolete) Frame; make; temperament.
  5. (obsolete) A combination; a union; a bond.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for composure in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

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