ap·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce apposition (audio) \

Definition of apposition

1a : a grammatical construction in which two usually adjacent nouns having the same referent stand in the same syntactical relation to the rest of a sentence (such as the poet and Burns in "a biography of the poet Burns")
b : the relation of one of such a pair of nouns or noun equivalents to the other
2a : an act or instance of apposing specifically : the deposition of successive layers upon those already present (as in cell walls)
b : the state of being apposed

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Other Words from apposition

appositional \ ˌa-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce apposition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of apposition in a Sentence

In “my friend the doctor,” the word “doctor” is in apposition to “my friend.”
Recent Examples on the Web This type is called an apposition compound eye, meaning each lens acts independently to create a mosaic image of what a creature sees. Riley Black, Scientific American, 13 Aug. 2020 But other elements were recognizable, like the flat vowels and the plaid shirts and the helpful practicality, like the lonesomeness of the undifferentiated plains, like the apposition of wilderness and chain stores. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 27 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apposition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of apposition

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for apposition

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The first known use of apposition was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near apposition



apposition beach

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Cite this Entry

“Apposition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of apposition

: an arrangement of words in which a noun or noun phrase is followed by another noun or noun phrase that refers to the same thing


ap·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce apposition (audio) \

Kids Definition of apposition

: a grammatical construction in which a noun is followed by another that explains it In "my friend the doctor," the word "doctor" is in apposition with "friend."


ap·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌap-ə-ˈzish-ən How to pronounce apposition (audio) \

Medical Definition of apposition

1 : the placing of things in juxtaposition or proximity specifically : deposition of successive layers upon those already present (as in cell walls) — compare accretion, intussusception sense 2
2 : the state of being in juxtaposition or proximity (as in the drawing together of cut edges of tissue in healing)

Other Words from apposition

appose \ a-​ˈpōz How to pronounce apposition (audio) \ transitive verb apposed; apposing
appositional \ ˌap-​ə-​ˈzish-​nəl, -​ən-​ᵊl How to pronounce apposition (audio) \ adjective


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