de·​po·​si·​tion | \ˌde-pə-ˈzi-shən, 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 \ -​ˈzish-​nəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ 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

After Wednesday's hearing about Piercy's peace officer license, Craig Ellingson gave director Drew Juden two large binders full of depositions that were taken in his son's civil case. Laura Bauer And Max Londberg, kansascity, "Trooper in Lake of the Ozarks drowning death should not have been fired, judge rules," 27 June 2018 Geragos also represents Kaepernick, who has been present for a series of depositions in his grievance against the NFL. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Eric Reid, brother of Texans' Justin Reid, files collusion grievance," 2 May 2018 The defense is also expected to raise on appeal O'Neill's ruling that allowed jurors to hear portions of a deposition Cosby gave over a decade ago as part of Constand's lawsuit against him. CBS News, "Judge orders Bill Cosby to remain in Philadelphia home, be fitted with GPS monitor," 27 Apr. 2018 The President called her shortly after the deposition and met with Ms. Currie the next day. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump and what the Starr Report says about impeachment, annotated," 11 July 2018 His lawyer had actually tried in the Paula Jones deposition — Robert Bennett — had tried to keep questions from being asked at all about Monica Lewinsky. New York Times, "When the President Testified: People in the Room Recall Clinton’s 1998 Interrogation," 29 May 2018 Via video-conferencing, Malinowski answered questions from prosecutors and was subject to cross-examination by Slager’s attorney, all of whom had gathered in a courtroom for the deposition. Adam Carlson,, "Mom-of-2 Describes Horror of Boyfriend Lighting Her on Fire as He Pleads to Her Murder: 'Pure Evil'," 11 July 2018 The woman’s attorney says the governor’s attorneys mischaracterized her deposition testimony. Jason Hancock, Lindsay Wise And Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "Judge issues gag order in Gov. Greitens’ invasion of privacy case," 27 Apr. 2018 O’Neill is expected to rule Monday on what could be the Cosby team’s last line of attack in the courtroom: whether jurors can hear deposition testimony that Cosby’s lawyers say could have insights into what led Constand to accuse him. Michael R. Sisak,, "Bill Cosby’s defense team focuses on swaying public opinion, not jurors," 23 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for deposition

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deposition

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

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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

: 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


de·​po·​si·​tion | \ˌdep-ə-ˈzi-shən, ˌdē-pə- \

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 \

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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by force of circumstances

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