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 believe juxtapose is a back-formation that was created when people trimmed down the noun juxtaposition. Historical evidence supports the idea: juxtaposition shows up in the 17th century and juxtapose in the 19th.  Juxtaposition is 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 resulting images juxtapose subjects' past and present selves, leaving viewers to reflect on the passage of time. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 2 Aug. 2022 Rustic wood beams and a chunky wood table juxtapose the shelves yet keep with the classic yet modern feel of the space. Maria Sabella, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 July 2022 Her supple, plump lips juxtapose with her triangular, pointed, upturned nose and jutting eyebrow. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 24 June 2022 The three-part reading will juxtapose Muir’s representations of nature with Finney’s familial history and current events, tying together themes of mobility, exploration, and accountability. Kiran Herbert, Outside Online, 19 Aug. 2021 To make sage green pop, juxtapose it with a high-contrast color like charcoal gray. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Aug. 2022 The elegant, more party-ready dresses continued to juxtapose tougher, combat-ready looks, a point that designer Stine Goya tried to drive home. Lauren Caruso, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Aug. 2022 Their vulnerability and powerlessness in those moments are meant to juxtapose their rise to power later in the series. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 28 July 2022 The prints juxtapose eccentrically shaped but essentially boxy forms, usually in just two colors, although one has four. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 27 May 2022 See More

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.

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

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Juxtapose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juxtapose. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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