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 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 Accounting for these factors and including a 25% uncertainty on the ground deposition suggests everybody in Tahiti may have received a dose greater than 1 mSv, roughly twice as much as the CEA estimate. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "France grossly underestimated radioactive fallout from atom bomb tests, study finds," 11 Mar. 2021 Eric Trump's deposition is part of an investigation concerning whether the Trump Organization received tax benefits by improperly inflating the value of its assets. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "New York attorney general will depose Eric Trump for Trump Organization investigation," 5 Oct. 2020 Flynn said at the time that Blum invoked the Fifth Amendment on the advice of his lawyer, who could not attend the deposition. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee sergeant disciplined in Frank Jude case being considered for promotion," 3 Mar. 2021 Judge Thomas Ellis will reportedly set a timetable this week for the suspect, 43-year-old Anne Sacoolas, to give evidence in a deposition ahead of a trial later this year. Imtiaz Tyab, CBS News, "Family of U.K. teen killed in crash with U.S. woman suffering "beyond belief" as trial set to resume in Virginia," 3 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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

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