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

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Other Words from deposition

depositional \ ˌde-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce deposition (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
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Recent Examples on the Web In February 2015, allegations of another inappropriate relationship surfaced in a deposition of a divorce case involving a friend of Merrill’s. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "John Merrill’s bright future in Alabama politics faces scandalous end," 8 Apr. 2021 The invasion of privacy case, meanwhile, had already collapsed over a complex scandal that left a private investigator hired by Gardner’s office charged with lying in a deposition, the Associated Press reported. Washington Post, "Eric Greitens resigned as Missouri governor over an affair and blackmail claims. Now he’s running for Senate.," 23 Mar. 2021 Paul Flores has remained mum through the years, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions before a grand jury and in a deposition for a civil lawsuit that was brought against him. CBS News, "Investigators searching home of father of "prime suspect" in 1996 disappearance of college student Kristin Smart," 16 Mar. 2021 In a deposition for a civil case regarding the beating, Blum invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination over the course of an hour. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Promotion of sergeant disciplined in Frank Jude case delayed," 5 Mar. 2021 The Supreme Court denied a government watchdog group’s bid to compel former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to face a deposition over her controversial private email. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court rules against watchdog group seeking to depose Hillary Clinton over private emails," 29 Mar. 2021 In a 2019 deposition, Cullimore was pressed about statistics of renters lying about their need for support animals. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Some Utah landlords are putting up roadblocks for disabled renters and evicting them," 25 Mar. 2021 In a deposition from that case, Ms. Maxwell described herself as Epstein’s girlfriend at times, and as his property manager and aide. Simon Clark, WSJ, "Ghislaine Maxwell to Sell London Home to Pay Legal Fees in Epstein Sex Case," 11 Mar. 2021 The deposition is part of a lawsuit brought by former Valdosta coach Alan Rodemaker, who is suing the school board for wrongful termination. Mark Heim |, al, "Rush Propst placed on administrative leave at Valdosta High," 12 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of deposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for deposition

see depose

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Time Traveler for deposition

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deposition

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deposition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for deposition



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

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Comments on deposition

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