According to the ever-handy Wikipedia, Compote is a dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. That makes sense based on its Old French meaning, composte, or mixture, from the Latin feminine composita. Also think component.
No mention at Wiki of its other meaning, a long-stemmed dish used for holding fruit, nuts, or candy, according to the equally at-your-fingertips thefreedictionary.com. We can postulate this form of bowl was popularly used to serve the fruity sugary mixture to French noble men and women of old. Today it comes in more varieties than Home Depot caulk. Mine is in matte white ceramic and has that nice fluting, lending even your garden variety summer veggies a classical look.