Definition of component in US English:



  • 1A part or element of a larger whole, especially a part of a machine or vehicle.

    ‘stereo components’
    • ‘The talent was outstanding and the cultural component was handled with the proper respect.’
    • ‘The structure consisted of a steel beam designed to represent an interior component of a vehicle.’
    • ‘However, the company still sees the Waterford plant as a key component of its future growth.’
    • ‘Ascorbate is one of the most important components in both plants and animals.’
    • ‘To everyone's relief all the vehicles and components survived the trip without a single scratch.’
    • ‘The internal combustion engine is an integral component of a vehicle and one that baffles many people.’
    • ‘One of the components on the card has been wasted and the machine will reboot without warning whenever it feels like it.’
    • ‘All this is not separate from, but rather an important component of, good economic management.’
    • ‘If any one of these components fail, the whole system fails, certainly in an agricultural context.’
    • ‘The soft wrist phone has two components, the watch band and the removable phone module.’
    • ‘The advantages to shrinking and integrating the internal components of mobile phones are obvious.’
    • ‘Remove that component and the whole enterprise could fold, denying a further service to the community.’
    • ‘This fruit is also an important component of many traditional Chinese medicines.’
    • ‘It is clear that dietary fibre is a key component in whole grain that delivers health benefits.’
    • ‘Today Raleigh merely assembles machines from components which are largely made abroad.’
    • ‘Now they were complaining the price of their imported components were too high.’
    • ‘It works because this record has a soul which welds its soiled components into a perfect whole.’
    • ‘This is an integral component of the world games experience for the athletes.’
    • ‘It is logical to have one or the other of these command and control elements in each component.’
    • ‘The machines used to read the biometric component of those passports are not available.’
    part, piece, bit, constituent, element, ingredient
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Each of two or more forces, velocities, or other vectors acting in different directions which are together equivalent to a given vector.
      • ‘This presentation of the data shows the horizontal component of the relative movement of two blocks separated by a given fault.’
      • ‘Suppose that the vertical component of the force on the ground is constant and equal to amg.’
      • ‘Harriot resolved the forces acting on the projectile into horizontal and vertical components.’
      • ‘One is the vertical component generated by the effect of gravity on the suspended pipe.’
      • ‘This in turn, because of the layout of the drive, would have imparted an upward component to the force of the car on the gate.’


  • Constituting part of a larger whole; constituent.

    ‘light passed through a prism breaks up into its component colors’
    • ‘The walls consist of component paintings arranged in a grid pattern that forms a whole.’
    • ‘The Russian entrepreneurs constitute a component part of the world capitalist elite.’
    • ‘Double bed is a tightly knit conceptual unit whose component parts cannot easily be separated.’
    • ‘Of all component parts of our modern societies, the army is that which most recalls the structure of inferior societies.’
    • ‘Complex Phobias include phobias that have a number of component fears.’
    • ‘The sole job of a spectroscope is to break light into a rainbow of its component colors.’
    • ‘Items scores were summed to produce a total unless data for any component question were missing.’
    • ‘This is a world with many component elements but no visible unifying underpinning.’
    • ‘One cannot predict the end result of a change in one component process in such a complex matrix.’
    • ‘Rather, it is the component parts, the sum of the whole, that gives it the edge.’
    • ‘The other issue is that social life appears to be too complex to be broken down into simple component parts that can then be examined in isolation.’
    • ‘We no longer have to think of trade in terms of complete finished products but in terms of component parts.’
    • ‘Disassembling the guns to component pieces and clips, he set them all back onto the towel.’
    • ‘When you first start to make up pole rigs you will find you will need to buy a lot of small component parts to enable you to do the job easily.’
    • ‘But whenever you analyse performance in sport, you will find a whole heap of component parts.’
    • ‘From these data, the total score and two component scores were derived for each student.’
    • ‘Grammar was the establishing of the relations between component parts of sentences.’
    • ‘That's fine, but the position of the sun is only one small component part of your natal chart as a whole.’
    constituent, integral
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from Latin component- ‘putting together’, from the verb componere, from com- ‘together’ + ponere ‘put’. Compare with compound.