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

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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 Familiar statistics on these dismal trends take on fresh urgency when juxtaposed with photos of Kristof’s schoolmates who are now homeless or dead. Sarah Smarsh, New York Times, "Chronicling a Community, and a Country, in Economic Crisis," 10 Jan. 2020 Many of the tarot cards feature classic works of art juxtaposed with collage elements. Nina Kravinsky, Smithsonian, "See Surreal Tarot Cards Designed by Salvador Dalí for a James Bond Movie," 7 Nov. 2019 The book includes photographs of murals and graffiti from throughout the 20th century, with images of autographs, poems, letters and drawings from Lummis’ collection juxtaposed with photos of recent signatures. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, "Who is remembered and forgotten? ‘The Autograph Book’ explores L.A.'s collective memory," 28 Sep. 2019 The second is the walloping hook, which hits like a sucker punch when juxtaposed with the minimal track -- the third, more low-key star that creates the foundation for the other two to shine. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 32 Best Dance Songs of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 27 June 2019 When his work is juxtaposed with real life masterworks by Goya, Zurbarán, and El Greco, the effect can be spellbinding. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "“Balenciaga and Spanish Painting” Opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid," 21 June 2019 Just juxtapose how Gruden handled the Khalil Mack holdout compared to Brown’s. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Jon Gruden sent two clear messages by not suspending Antonio Brown [Updated]," 6 Sep. 2019 The documentary has many enthralling scenes in which Costa juxtaposes historic public events with remarkable private moments. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "The Fracturing of Brazil in “The Edge of Democracy”," 13 Dec. 2019 The warmth and levity inside the fort were juxtaposed with the stark danger of the world just outside the walls of their sturdy shelter. Buddy Levy, Time, "The Story of an Extravagant Christmas Dinner Near the North Pole in 1881," 23 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of juxtapose was in 1851

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Statistics for juxtapose

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Juxtapose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juxtapose?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=j&file=juxtap01. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for juxtapose


How to pronounce juxtapose (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of juxtapose

formal : 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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