jux·​ta·​pose | \ˈjək-stə-ˌpōz \
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

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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

Notoriously the modern city preserves traces of nearly all these ancient Romes, often incongruously juxtaposed. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018 Her Fear the Future Tour juxtaposes her axe slinger side with a titillating, Bowie-esque pop art performance piece. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "7 buzzworthy concerts coming to Charlotte in the next week | Charlotte Observer," 17 May 2018 Artnet News’ Henri Neuendorf writes that the Nazis’ Degenerate Art exhibition was juxtaposed with a Great German Art exhibition held in Munich. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How the Brits Refuted Nazi Germany’s ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibition," 13 June 2018 The July rent report continues to be a tale of modest monthly increases juxtaposed with more sizable year-over-year growth, according to the apartment tracker Zumper. Shannon Rooney, Philly.com, "Philadelphia is the 16th most expensive U.S. city for renters in July," 7 July 2018 The look juxtaposes a polished, suit-wearing Jackie Kennedy aura with that of an otherworldly creature: Technicolor, whimsical, and utterly bizarre. Zoe Harris, Marie Claire, "Why Jeremy's Scott New Moschino Campaign Is Being Described as Distasteful," 26 June 2018 Like much of both artists’ recent work, the album makes liberal use of liberation aesthetics, often juxtaposed directly with riffs on bourgeois pursuits. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Do Beyoncé Fans Have to Forgive Jay-Z?," 18 June 2018 Abel smartly juxtaposes this fateful summer of structured activities and unstructured hormones with regular flashbacks that reveal the rickety frame on which Camp Llamalo came to be. Ellen Emry Heltzel, The Seattle Times, "Heather Abel’s sly ‘The Optimistic Decade’ is an exceptional coming-of-age novel," 5 June 2018 In the case of the ballpark, however, the show filmed visual effects footage at Fenway itself and juxtaposed it with clips of the actors on a ball field in Hamilton, Ontario, Littlefield said. Megan O’brien, BostonGlobe.com, "Map: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is filled with Boston references," 3 May 2018

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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Statistics for juxtapose

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for juxtapose

The first known use of juxtapose was in 1851

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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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Comments on juxtapose

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


to express warning or disapproval

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