Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


calmness; tranquility; serenity; coolness; self-possession: She maintained her composure during her entire performance.
Not to be confused with:
composer – one who writes music: Bach was a great composer.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


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

[From compose.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


calmness, esp of the mind; tranquillity; serenity
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(kəmˈpoʊ ʒər)

serene, self-controlled manner or state of mind; calmness; tranquillity.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



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.

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
هُدوء، رباطَة جَأْش
stilling, sjálfsstjórn


[kəmˈpəʊʒəʳ] Ncalma f, serenidad f
to recover or regain one's composurerecobrar la calma
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[kəmˈpəʊʒər] ncalme m
to regain one's composure, to recover one's composure → retrouver son calme
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nBeherrschung f, → Fassung f; to lose one’s composuredie Beherrschung verlieren; to regain one’s composureseine Selbstbeherrschung wiederfinden
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[kəmˈpəʊʒəʳ] ncalma, padronanza di sé
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. compostura, serenidad.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
"The Buddhists are cutting Mohammedan throats," the Dragoman replied, with oriental composure.
As Miss Emmerson by no means held the good qualities of the guest, who had just left them, in so high an estimation as did her niece, she proceeded quietly and with great composure in the exercise of her daily duties; not in the least suspecting the real distress that, from a variety of causes, this sudden separation had caused to her ward.
“If we reach the point of yon rock before that sheet of fire, we are safe, Miss Temple,” exclaimed the young man in a voice that burst without the bounds of his forced composure. “ Fly!
As a means towards his composure and self-possession, he entered into a more minute examination of the office than he had yet had time to make; looked into the wig-box, the books, and ink-bottle; untied and inspected all the papers; carved a few devices on the table with a sharp blade of Mr Brass's penknife; and wrote his name on the inside of the wooden coal-scuttle.
During all this time he was evidently struggling for composure. Elinor watched his countenance and saw its expression becoming more tranquil.
He walked from one end of the hall to the other, with the attitude of one who advances to charge an enemy, or to storm the breach of a beleaguered place, sometimes ejaculating to himself, sometimes addressing Athelstane, who stoutly and stoically awaited the issue of the adventure, digesting, in the meantime, with great composure, the liberal meal which he had made at noon, and not greatly interesting himself about the duration of his captivity, which he concluded, would, like all earthly evils, find an end in Heaven's good time.
Full of wonder at so strange a form of madness, they flocked to see it from a distance, and observed with what composure he sometimes paced up and down, or sometimes, leaning on his lance, gazed on his armour without taking his eyes off it for ever so long; and as the night closed in with a light from the moon so brilliant that it might vie with his that lent it, everything the novice knight did was plainly seen by all.
It was generally evident whenever they met, that he DID admire her and to HER it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane united, with great strength of feeling, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent.
As on certain other occasions when he had expected to shake her out of her usual composure, she betrayed no sign of surprise: and at once he concluded: "He writes to her, then."
He completely misinterpreted her silence--completely mistook the motive that made her turn aside for a moment, to gather composure enough to speak to him.
The moment she turned and faced me, my composure came back.
The steady composure of the one woman seemed to madden the other.