—adj. 1. made up of disparate or separate parts or elements; compound: a composite drawing; a composite philosophy. 2. Bot.belonging to the Compositae. Cf. composite family. 3. (cap.) Archit.noting or pertaining to one of the five classical orders, popular esp. since the beginning of the Renaissance but invented by the ancient Romans, in which the Roman Ionic and Corinthian orders are combined, so that four diagonally set Ionic volutes, variously ornamented, rest upon a bell of Corinthian acanthus leaves. Cf. Corinthian (def. 2), Doric (def. 3), Ionic (def. 1), Tuscan (def. 2). See illus. under order. 4. Rocketry. a. (of a rocket or missile) having more than one stage.
b. (of a solid propellant) composed of a mixture of fuel and oxidizer.
5. Naut.noting a vessel having frames of one material and shells and decking of another, esp. one having iron or steel frames with shells and decks planked.
6. Math.of or pertaining to a composite function or a composite number.
—n. 1. something composite; a compound.
2. Bot.a composite plant.
3. a picture, photograph, or the like, that combines several separate pictures.