Definition of compost in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Decayed organic material used as a fertilizer for growing plants.

    ‘cover with a layer of fine compost’
    • ‘My job was to add fresh compost to the rows to make them rich for planting.’
    • ‘Add a little compost to the soil and fork in lightly, mulch and water.’
    • ‘There is no fertilizer better than compost, and you can make it yourself for free!’
    • ‘If it's bad, mix 1 cubic foot of compost into the backfill.’
    • ‘Mulch with an organic material such as compost or alfalfa hay.’
    • ‘I watered the planting area for each one with several litres of water, then added some fresh compost.’
    • ‘Even with Betty's method of making compost, some ingredients tend to smell.’
    • ‘For best performance amend the soil with organic matter such as compost before planting.’
    • ‘Mulch in late winter with any organic material such as home-made compost, leaf mould or composted bark.’
    • ‘Garden compost is not really suitable for this purpose because it contains weed seeds.’
    • ‘Place in a well-lit spot and keep the compost lightly moist.’
    • ‘Making leaf mould is different to making general garden compost in that only the leaves are used.’
    • ‘Even a newbie to composting can make good quality compost.’
    • ‘They spread the compost before plowing in the spring.’
    • ‘I dug big planting holes, though, and mixed large amounts of compost into the backfill.’
    • ‘Amend soil regularly with compost and apply organic mulches continually to enrich your soil.’
    • ‘Adding compost to heavy clay soil improves drainage by improving soil structure.’
    • ‘Mix plenty of compost into the soil, or grow the trees in raised beds.’
    • ‘Place in a conservatory or warm greenhouse and keep the compost moist.’
    • ‘I recycle all my fruit and vegetable scraps to make compost for my garden.’
    fertilizer, plant food, dressing, organic matter, vegetable waste, humus, peat
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    1. 1.1A mixture of compost or similar material with loam soil used as a growing medium.
      ‘sweet peppers can be grown singly in pots of potting compost’
      [count noun] ‘peat-free composts’
      • ‘With the gardening season now getting into full swing, the trust is urging people to only use peat-free composts in their gardens.’
      • ‘Used only in a do-it-myself mixture of seed compost, a single bag of peat lasted nearly a decade.’
      • ‘There are plenty of bacteria, fungi, and other critters in a shovelful of soil or finished compost to get things cooking.’
      • ‘Sow some of the seed in a pot with multi-purpose compost or in a row in the garden.’
      • ‘Gardening is our fastest growing pastime and the demand for composts is greater than ever - still largely met by commercial peat extraction.’
      • ‘Five plants were grown in each 25 cm diameter pot, using commercial potting compost supplemented by liquid fertilizer.’
      • ‘He starts by filling the pot or seed tray with a mixture of seed compost and perlite (which helps aeration and drainage).’
      • ‘In a nutshell, you plant the tubers sandwiched between layers of multipurpose potting compost.’
      • ‘In the croft garden we always use peat-free composts and prefer those made from composted bark.’
      • ‘Stock up on compost, potting soil and fertilizers, or find and haul these materials from local sources to create your own.’
      • ‘Similarly, it is always best to use new potting compost when sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings.’
      • ‘Alternatively, chemically-treated composts are available, which are said to keep vine weevils at bay for 12 months, or proprietary insecticides which work for about six months.’
      • ‘Ingredients in commercial composts include various kinds of animal manures and lawn and garden wastes.’
      fertilizer, plant food, dressing, organic matter, vegetable waste, humus, peat
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  • 1 Make (vegetable matter or manure) into compost.

    ‘don't compost heavily infested plants’
    • ‘As municipalities launch programs to collect and compost household food waste, interest in degradable plastics is on the rise.’
    • ‘If the industry was serious about conserving supplies it would invest in water saving devices or compost the manure but that might cut profits, so they don't.’
    • ‘Most other plant residues can be composted, if you have a well-maintained compost pile which generates enough heat to kill disease pathogens.’
    • ‘This involved separating their waste into bins for glass, tins and paper, then composting suitable material.’
    • ‘All through the summer I've been collecting and composting the used coffee grounds from work.’
    • ‘When crops are growing in the fields, the manure is composted and applied to the land later.’
    • ‘Any manure, hay or other organic material must be composted fully before usage to make sure it contains no surviving and active seeds to add to your problems.’
    • ‘You can compost fruits, vegetables, tea bags and coffee grounds, as well as leaf and yard waste.’
    • ‘It's best not to compost fruit and leaves unless you know your pile gets hot enough to kill the pests.’
    • ‘The only environmentally acceptable way to improve the earth is to compost banana peels and recycle soy milk cartons.’
    • ‘It is unlikely there will now be much left in our grey bin, given that my household already recycles many other waste items and composts green and kitchen waste.’
    • ‘They share a powerful shredder, and compost all healthy plant material.’
    • ‘You could use horse manure, but make sure it is composted.’
    • ‘At this time of year it's also important to regularly remove dead flowers and leaves from plants and then compost this material for later return of the nutrients to the beds.’
    • ‘One of the easiest ways for a household to reduce their level of waste is to start composting their rubbish.’
    • ‘As another continuing farm project, Mark uses worms to compost cow manure and coffee hulls.’
    • ‘He filled the tanks with a mix of 3 parts composted organic matter and 1 part each soil, sand, and pumice.’
    • ‘During the composting season, check your bin regularly to assure optimum moisture and aeration are present in the material being composted.’
    • ‘Finally, the district will soon be getting a grant for vermi-composting, which uses worms to compost organic matter.’
    • ‘They bent their shoulders and backs to compost hay, manure, and field stubble, and transplanted plants from the woods into their own yards.’
    1. 1.1Treat (soil) with compost.
      ‘we turned clay soil into almost workable soil by composting it’
      • ‘He saw how well the tomatoes flourished in that dark composted soil.’
      • ‘They like shade and composted soil and plenty of water.’
      • ‘It climbs by means of tendrils and is best grown in a composted soil supported by a fence or trellis.’
      • ‘When planting tulip or daffodil bulbs in a formal display it pays to make sure that the soil has been well composted and forked over beforehand.’
      • ‘For those of you who suffer from an inordinate amount of clay in your soil, composting is the answer.’
      add fertilizer to, enrich with fertilizer, feed, mulch, compost, manure, dung, dress, top-dress
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Late Middle English: from Old French composte, from Latin composita, compositum something put together, feminine and neuter past participle of componere.