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A calm or tranquil state of mind; self-possession.

[From compose.]


calmness, esp of the mind; tranquillity; serenity


(kəmˈpoʊ ʒər)

serene, self-controlled manner or state of mind; calmness; tranquillity.



cool as a cucumber Calm, cool, and collected; self-possessed, composed. Cucumbers have long been used in salads and relishes for their refreshing, cooling quality. This popular simile dates from 1732.

cool your jets Relax, calm down, take it easy; used chiefly as an admonition. This recent American slang expression is perhaps an extension of the 1950s slang term cool it. The jets in the phrase may refer to the jet engines of a plane which get extremely hot before takeoff, and are thus comparable to the feverishly excited condition of an individual to whom this remark would be addressed.

count to ten To take a deep breath, calm down, and gird one-self to do something difficult or trying; to pause and consider before acting impetuously; to redirect one’s energy and attention to avoid becoming enraged. This common expression is often used by someone who is violently angry and on the verge of losing his temper. It is a warning to another person to behave in a certain manner or suffer the consequences when the counter reaches “ten.”

hold your horses Hold on, be patient, keep calm, don’t get excited; nearly always used in the imperative. The allusion is to the way a driver holds his horses back by pulling up on the reins in order to slow them down. Of U.S. origin, this expression is thought to have first appeared in print in its figurative sense in the New Orleans Picayune (September, 1844):

Oh, hold your hosses, Squire. There’s no use gettin’ riled, no how.

keep one’s powder dry To keep cool, to keep control, to remain calm and ready for action. This expression is military in origin and refers to the reputed final words of Sir Oliver Cromwell to his troops before they crossed a river to attack on the opposite side:

Put your trust in God; but be sure to keep your powder dry.

keep your shirt on Stay calm, keep cool, don’t get worked-up; also hold on to your shirttail; both expressions nearly always used in the imperative. Men usually remove their shirts before engaging in a fistfight; whence the expression. George W. Harris used this U.S. slang phrase in the Spirit of the Times (N.Y., 1854):

I say, you durned ash cats, just keep yer shirts on, will ye?

on an even keel Steady, stable, balanced; even-tempered; maintaining composure or equilibrium. Keel is a nautical term for a “central fore-and-aft structural member in the bottom of a hull” (Random House Diet.) which affects a vessel’s stability. Nautical use of on an even keel, as in the following quotation from James Greenwood’s A Rudimentary Treatise on Navigation (1850), has given rise to current figurative use of this expression.

A ship is said to swim on an even keel when she draws the same quantity of water abaft as forwards.

roll with the punches See ENDURANCE.

without turning a hair Without batting an eyelash, showing no sign of excitement or emotion; completely calm and composed, unperturbed, unflustered.

When I tried her with a lot of little dodges … she never turned a hair—as the sporting people say. (Richard D. Blackmore, Dariel, 1897)

The earliest recorded literal use of the expression is found in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1798) in allusion to a horse which, though hot from racing, did not become sweaty or ruffle its hair.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.composure - steadiness of mind under stress; "he accepted their problems with composure and she with equanimity"
disposition, temperament - your usual mood; "he has a happy disposition"
aplomb, assuredness, sang-froid, cool, poise - great coolness and composure under strain; "keep your cool"
serenity, tranquility, placidity, tranquillity, repose, quiet - a disposition free from stress or emotion
discomposure - a temperament that is perturbed and lacking in composure



هُدوء، رباطَة جَأْش
stilling, sjálfsstjórn


[kəmˈpəʊʒəʳ] Ncalma f, serenidad f
to recover or regain one's composurerecobrar la calma


[kəmˈpəʊʒər] ncalme m
to regain one's composure, to recover one's composure → retrouver son calme


nBeherrschung f, → Fassung f; to lose one’s composuredie Beherrschung verlieren; to regain one’s composureseine Selbstbeherrschung wiederfinden


[kəmˈpəʊʒəʳ] ncalma, padronanza di sé


(kəmˈpəuz) verb
1. to form by putting parts together. A word is composed of several letters.
2. to write (eg music, poetry etc). Mozart began to compose when he was six years old.
3. to control (oneself) after being upset.
comˈposed adjective
(of people) quiet and calm. She looked quite composed.
comˈposer noun
a writer, especially of a piece of music.
composition (kompəˈziʃən) noun
1. something composed, eg music. his latest composition.
2. the act of composing. the difficulties of composition.
3. an essay written as a school exercise. The children had to write a composition about their holiday.
4. the parts of which a thing is made. Have you studied the composition of the chemical?
comˈposure (-ʒə) noun
calmness. I admired her composure.


n. compostura, serenidad.
References in classic literature ?
Amy rose to comply with outward composure, but a secret fear oppressed her, for the limes weighed upon her conscience.
And here she was, brushed and smoothed and dressed like a town girl, smiling at us with perfect composure.
He had regained his composure, which seemed to have been somewhat impaired the night before.
returned the other, raising himself with dignity, and resuming his seat on the log with his former composure.
We got a billiard-table over from Stockton," half bashfully interrupted Dick Mattingly, struggling from his end of the trunk to recover his composure, "and it had to be brought over in sections on the back of a mule, so I don't see why--" He stopped short again in confusion, at a sign from his brother, and then added, "I mean, of course, that a piano is a heap more delicate, and valuable, and all that sort of thing, but it's worth trying for.
Drink, then," replied he, still with the same cold composure.
This was so singularly the case that it had presumably much to do with the fact as to which, at the present day, I am at a loss for a different explanation: I allude to my unnatural composure on the subject of another school for Miles.
As, according to her own statement, this surgical operation was a matter of daily occurrence in the cabin, the declaration no whit abated the merriment, till every one had roared and tumbled and danced themselves down to a state of composure.
As the dame turned away, Marco couldn't help slapping on the climax while the thing was hot; so he said with what was meant for a languid composure but was a poor imitation of it:
Elton in particular; but it seemed to her reasonable that at Harriet's age, and with the entire extinction of all hope, such a progress might be made towards a state of composure by the time of Mr.
Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it.
Clare, with the icy composure of a disinterested friend.