noun de·po·si·tion \ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən, ˌdē-pə-\

Definition of deposition

  1. 1 :  an act of removing from a position of authority

  2. 2 a :  a testifying especially before a court b :  declaration; specifically :  testimony taken down in writing under oath c :  out-of-court testimony made under oath and recorded by an authorized officer for later use in court; also :  a meeting at which such testimony is taken

  3. 3 :  an act or process of depositing

  4. 4 :  something deposited :  deposit


play \-ˈzish-nəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of deposition in a sentence

  1. She gave a videotaped deposition about what she saw that night.

  2. His attorneys took depositions from the witnesses.

  3. the deposition of sand and gravel on the river bed

14th Century

First Known Use of deposition

14th century

DEPOSITION Defined for English Language Learners


noun de·po·si·tion \ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən, ˌdē-pə-\

Definition of deposition for English Language Learners

  • 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

  • : the action of depositing something (such as sand, snow, or mud) on a surface or area especially over a period of time

  • : the act removing someone from a powerful position : the act of deposing someone

Medical Dictionary


play play
noun de·po·si·tion \ˌdep-ə-ˈzi-shən, ˌdē-pə-\

Medical Definition of deposition

  1. 1:  a process of depositing something <the deposition and clearance of a metabolic product>

  2. 2:  something deposited :  deposit <beta-amyloid depositions in Alzheimer's disease>

Law Dictionary


noun de·po·si·tion \ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən\

Legal Definition of deposition

  1. 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. 2 :  the hearing at which a deposition is made <the deposition takes place where the deponent answers the questions — Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 30(b)(4)>

Additional Notes on deposition

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.

Origin and Etymology of deposition

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

Seen and Heard

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


very important or noticeable

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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