jux·​ta·​pose | \ ˈjək-stə-ˌpōz How to pronounce juxtapose (audio) \
juxtaposed; juxtaposing

Definition of juxtapose

transitive verb

: to place (different things) side by side (as to compare them or contrast them or to create an interesting effect) juxtapose unexpected combinations of colors, shapes and ideas— J. F. T. Bugental

Is juxtapose a Back-formation?

A back-formation is a word that has come about through the removal of a prefix or a suffix from a longer word. Etymologists think juxtapose is a back-formation that was created when people trimmed down the noun juxtaposition. Historical evidence supports the idea: juxtaposition was showing up in English documents as early as 1654, but juxtapose didn't appear until 1851. Juxtaposition is itself thought to be a combination of Latin juxta, meaning "near," and English position.

Examples of juxtapose in a Sentence

a display that juxtaposes modern art with classical art
Recent Examples on the Web Her designs juxtapose different materials and fabrics -- metals and feathers, sequins and tulle -- and combine dramatic, romantic silhouettes with modern geometric shapes and structural details. CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 To juxtapose the earthier, more masculine-feeling game room and basement spaces, the living room and dining room feature a lighter palette of whites, oranges and blues. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 19 Dec. 2021 It’s part of a very specific design choice to juxtapose ancient art with more modern periods and cultures, something namesake Désiré Feuerle did in a former art gallery in Cologne in the 1990s. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Dec. 2021 The most recent took place in February 2021, and much of the show seems to be a response to that event in the form of diptych paintings that juxtapose panels of narrative scenes with others of abstract patterning. New York Times, 28 Oct. 2021 She is known to juxtapose a beautiful dress with a pair of trainers or derby shoes. Greg Emmanuel, Essence, 13 Oct. 2021 Or juxtapose it with bright white for a punchy, graphic effect. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Sep. 2021 Doctors espousing anti-vaccine views are often invited on to popular national TV shows, which rarely correct falsehoods and instead juxtapose their opinions with those of experts calling for stricter public health measures. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2021 Even if ordinary Americans don’t juxtapose the White House’s Fourth of July celebration with Trump’s rollout of Barrett’s nomination, comparisons will be all over cable news, Miller said. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 2 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'juxtapose.' 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 juxtapose

1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for juxtapose

probably back-formation from juxtaposition

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Time Traveler for juxtapose

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The first known use of juxtapose was in 1851

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Statistics for juxtapose

Last Updated

7 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Juxtapose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juxtapose. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for juxtapose



English Language Learners Definition of juxtapose

: to place (different things) together in order to create an interesting effect or to show how they are the same or different


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