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

The Sicilian-style restaurant occupies part of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, where neon lights and palm trees are juxtaposed against baroque 17th-century architecture. Amy Louise Bailey, Vogue, "5 Stylish New Restaurants to Know in Milan," 18 Sep. 2018 The story juxtaposes the luxury of the Trump universe uptown with the art scene and ball culture downtown. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "All the New TV Shows You Need to Watch This Summer," 6 May 2018 The film juxtaposes their energy and joy with scenes of poverty and chaos, all within a mile of Disney World. Greater Good Staff, Washington Post, "These films may not all be Oscar winners, but they highlight the best in humanity," 4 Mar. 2018 The pieces on display include shoes from both the Delman archives and FIT's permanent collection juxtaposed with current styles, emphasizing the relationship between historic and modern fashion trends (hello, high-heeled booties from 1950). Ellie Krupnick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Celebrating the Stylish and Scandalous History of Delman Shoes," 16 Mar. 2010 The story is about their slow descent into outright criminality, juxtaposed with the way said descent changes their family, sometimes for the better (but often for the worse). Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots," 1 Sep. 2018 It is appropriately named Chalk White–a grey scale white, which works universally juxtaposed with cool and warm tones. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "The Best White Paints, According To Top Interior Designers," 27 July 2018 The play draws from Tchaikovsky’s frank letters to his younger brother Modest — a confidante and occasional collaborator, and who happened to be gay as well — to juxtapose his tortured sexuality with his rewarding back-and-forths with von Meck. New York Times, "Review: ‘Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart’ Has Music and Passion. But Not Romance.," 1 June 2018 Come Sunday juxtaposes the sins of this world with those that pertain to the afterlife. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "A Christian Awakening?," 24 Apr. 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

9 Jan 2019

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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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