de·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce deposition (audio) , ˌdē-pə- \

Definition of deposition

1a law : a testifying especially before a court was sworn in before giving his deposition
b : declaration specifically, law : testimony taken down in writing under oath took depositions from the witnesses
c law : out-of-court testimony made under oath and recorded by an authorized officer for later use in court gave a videotaped deposition about what she witnessed also : a meeting at which such testimony is taken
2 : an act or process of laying someone or something down or letting something fall : an act or process of depositing the deposition of earth and stone by glaciers
3 : something deposited : deposit Moraines are glacial depositions.
4 : an act of removing from a position of authority : an act of deposing deposition of a king

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deposition

depositional \ ˌde-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce depositional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , ˌdē-​pə-​ \ adjective

Examples of deposition in a Sentence

She gave a videotaped deposition about what she saw that night. His attorneys took depositions from the witnesses. the deposition of sand and gravel on the river bed
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The judge also ordered Lowe to cover attorney’s fees and sit for a deposition. Fox News, "'Tiger King' zoo searched by police after human remains were believed to be buried on property," 14 July 2020 She was also accused of perjuring herself during a deposition in a civil lawsuit over alleged abuse. Fox News, "Nancy Grace: Only 'justice' would be for Epstein's underage sex ring confidant Ghislaine to serve time," 4 July 2020 The court ordered Lowe to cover attorney’s fees, turn over relevant documents and sit for a deposition. Fox News, "'Tiger King' star Jeff Lowe ordered to surrender documents in animal neglect case exposed by PETA," 3 July 2020 Staysniak's testimony — given Jan. 31, 2020 — aligns with Lamey's deposition. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Derek Daly secretly records Bob Lamey in effort to support Daly's lawsuits over use of a racial slur," 26 June 2020 Cosby, in the deposition testimony, acknowledged a string of extramarital relationships. CBS News, "Bill Cosby appeal will test scope of #MeToo-era prosecutions," 23 June 2020 Godwin Ehiremen, a former guard, alleged in a 2015 deposition that when a Nigerian inmate was deported, Straight, his supervisor, questioned whether Ehiremen was also in the country illegally. Washington Post, "Tulsa guard’s deadly assault on hotel guest raises issues of race, private security oversight," 19 June 2020 The deposition states that Reinwald confessed to viewing child pornography and used DropBox to store the images. Carol Robinson |, al, "19-year-old jailed on child porn charges in Tuscaloosa County," 15 June 2020 Most of the two TeamHealth affiliates’ charges were never actually collected, according to their tax returns and a deposition of the accountant who prepared them. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "How Rich Investors, Not Doctors, Profit From Marking Up ER Bills," 12 June 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of deposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for deposition

see depose

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deposition

Time Traveler for deposition

Time Traveler

The first known use of deposition was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for deposition

Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deposition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deposition


How to pronounce deposition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deposition

law : a formal statement that someone who has promised to tell the truth makes so that the statement can be used in court especially : a formal statement that is made before a trial by a witness who will not be present at the trial
technical : the action of depositing something (such as sand, snow, or mud) on a surface or area especially over a period of time
formal : the act removing someone from a powerful position : the act of deposing someone


de·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌdep-ə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce deposition (audio) , ˌdē-pə- How to pronounce deposition (audio) \

Medical Definition of deposition

1 : a process of depositing something the deposition and clearance of a metabolic product
2 : something deposited : deposit beta-amyloid depositions in Alzheimer's disease


de·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce deposition (audio) \

Legal Definition of deposition

1a : a statement that is made under oath by a party or witness (as an expert) in response to oral examination or written questions and that is recorded by an authorized officer (as a court reporter) broadly : affidavit
b : the certified document recording such a statement — compare interrogatory
2 : the hearing at which a deposition is made the deposition takes place where the deponent answers the questionsFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 30(b)(4)

Note: A deposition can be used as a method of discovery, to preserve the testimony of a witness who is likely to become unavailable for trial, or for impeachment of testimony at trial. Depositions are distinguished from affidavits by the requirement that notice and an opportunity to cross-examine the deponent must be given to the other party.

History and Etymology for deposition

Late Latin depositio testimony, from Latin, act of depositing, from deponere to put down, deposit

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on deposition

What made you want to look up deposition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!