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 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
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Recent Examples on the Web In reality, dozens of Republican lawmakers from three committees and their staff lawyers participated in those depositions. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Two Legal Teams With Contrasting Strategies Face Off in the Capitol," 22 Jan. 2020 Jordan will likely advise the White House on the facts of the case, as Trump’s attorneys could not participate in depositions that were taken during the House proceedings, and make media appearances to defend Trump, said Jordan spokesman Ian Fury. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "White House names Ohio’s Jim Jordan to Trump’s impeachment defense team," 21 Jan. 2020 The House committees didn't allow Trump or his representatives to participate in the closed-door depositions or public hearings. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Jesus got 'more rights' than Trump and other quotes from a historical day of the ongoing impeachment debate," 18 Dec. 2019 In depositions last year, Ponte and Thamkittikasem also denied knowledge of them. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "New York City Paid McKinsey Millions to Stem Jail Violence. Instead, Violence Soared.," 10 Dec. 2019 In depositions in Porter's lawsuit, Juan Sanders denied killing Camp. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Kerry Porter, paid $7.5M for wrongful murder conviction, arrested on a gun charge," 2 Dec. 2019 Court documents said the court has consolidated the cases and ordered the plaintiffs to complete the necessary depositions by Feb. 29, and to amend their complaints by March 31. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Judge halts scheduled execution of death row inmates in Terre Haute," 21 Nov. 2019 The deposition is under seal and cannot be released until the hearing is over, the Star reported. Darran Simon, CNN, "Missouri says health director didn't track Planned Parenthood patients' periods. But officials did have a spreadsheet," 31 Oct. 2019 Only six Republican staff members are allowed in the depositions, according to a senior Republican aide, who said Democrats are afforded more. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, "What’s really happening inside the impeachment inquiry room stormed by Republicans," 23 Oct. 2019

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deposition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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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

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