The Meaning of Compilation: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of compilation? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word compilation, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word compilation mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as other sources like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word compilation is a noun that refers to the act or process of compiling, or putting things together. This can also refer to said list or collection of compiled things or people. Compilation is four syllables – com-pi-la-tion, and the pronunciation of compilation is ˌkɒmpɪˈleɪʃən. An author might put out a single book that is a compilation of short stories, or a band might put out a compilation album or albums of their greatest hits. A scientist might make a compilation of a set of data or a collection of documents into a reference book. Many different things can be part of a compilation.

Many different languages also contain words meaning compilation. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to each other. These are called cognates. Cognates are words and phrases that look and sound similar between languages while also meaning something similar. These are often formed when two words have the same language of origin or root. This list of translations for the word compilation is provided by Word Sense. 

  •  Bulgarian: събиране‎ (neut.), съставяне‎ (neut.)
  •  Bokmål: kompilasjon‎
  •  Spanish: compilación‎ (fem.)
  •  Turkish: derleme‎
  •  Irish: tiomsú‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: kokoaminen‎
  •  Mandarin: 编译‎ (biānyì)
  •  Hungarian: összeállítás‎
  •  Russian: компиля́ция‎ (fem.), собира́ние‎ (neut.), составле́ние‎ (neut.)
  •  Greek: συλλογή‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Zusammenstellung‎ (fem.)
  •  French: compilation‎ (fem.)
  •  Portuguese: compilação‎ (fem.), coletânea‎ (fem.)
  •  Estonian: kogumine‎, kokkupanek‎

What is the origin of the word compilation?

According to Etymonline, the word compilation has been used since the mid-15c Middle English. This comes from the Old French compilacion from Latin compilationem, from the nominative Latin compilatio, which literally meant a pillaging or plundering. This comes from the past-participle stem of compilare. Related words include compile, compiled, compiling, compilable, and more. Many different words that start with the prefixes comp or com may be related to the word compilation.

What are synonyms and antonyms of compilation?

Many different words can be used in place of the word compilation. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as a given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to avoid repeating yourself and expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word compilation is provided by Thesaurus

  •  treasury
  •  consolidating
  •  collection
  •  incorporating
  •  garner
  •  compiling
  •  joining
  •  aggregating
  •  gathering
  •  assortment
  •  assembling
  •  garnering
  •  anthology
  •  assemblage
  •  accumulation
  •  collecting
  •  combining
  •  accumulating
  •  unifying
  •  collocating

There are also numerous words that mean the opposite of the word compilation. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are another quick and easy way to expand your English vocabulary. Once you know the definition of one of these words, and memorize the rest, you then know the definitions of many more words than you started with! This list of antonyms is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  estrangement
  •  dissociation
  •  disrelation
  •  parting of the ways
  •  dialysis
  •  separation
  •  pffft
  •  disunion
  •  divorce
  •  farewell
  •  disconnection
  •  rift
  •  embarkation
  •  detachment
  •  break-up
  •  division
  •  partition
  •  rupture
  •  departure
  •  gap
  •  severance
  •  leave-taking
  •  split
  •  segregation
  •  divorcement
  •  break
  •  parting
  •  dissolution
  •  disengagement
  •  disjunction
  •  dedomiciling
  •  split-up

How can compilation be used in a sentence?

The word compilation can be used in many different contexts and settings in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition. You can also try to make flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge of the definitions of various words and phrases. Try using the word compilation in a sentence today! Below are several examples of compilation. 

The editor was raking through the compilation of footage of continental Europe  to try and find something salvageable, but nothing in his inventory from the past decade of honest toil could improve the film with the great care it needed. The poor final drafting would be due to the director, not the scrutiny of the editor.

Harpercollins Publishers and Random House put together a compilation of the copyright law claims to present to the department staff for special attention in court. This collation of data would make or break their case.

The man had saved a compilation of the clippings from the old news-paper cartoon strips from the daily digest for decades. The library was now going to use these compilations of Groening in a historical sense, and the role of compilations would be to study the basic demographics and historical events the readers experienced.

She has numerous compilations of mountain songs in her record collection. Her father was a mountaineer, and she made a compilation of this guidebook he used to carry, found all of the songs on record, and created a record for him. It would not have been possible without the strength of this compilation of material.

When she was feeling down about her art, her girlfriend made a compilation of the figure drawings she had done with her muse, and overlaid it with a compilation of his jazz.

Overall, the word compilation is a word meaning something that is put together or assembled, or the act of doing such an assembly. The word compilation is also a term used in programming and computer science. The word compilation is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. The word compilation is of Latin roots. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today!


  1. compilation: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. COMPILATION Synonyms: 19 Synonyms & Antonyms for COMPILATION | Thesaurus 
  3. SEPARATION Synonyms: 43 Synonyms & Antonyms for SEPARATION | Thesaurus 
  4. compilation | Origin and meaning of compilation | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Compilation | Definition of Compilation | Merriam-Webster