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 The viewer is invited to juxtapose these mortality rates against a concentric circle in each diagram that expresses the average mortality rate of Manchester, one of the deadliest towns in England at the time. Popular Science, "Infographics have helped keep us alive for centuries," 7 Sep. 2020 Part of the film's pleasure is in how the directors juxtapose the weighty, righteous causes of its attorneys with their humbler, eminently human lives. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, "Review: 'The Fight' documents the ACLU in the age of Trump," 29 July 2020 And don’t be afraid to juxtapose patterns, like stripes and florals. Laura Itzkowitz, House Beautiful, "How to Add Some Italian Seaside Style to Your Home This Summer," 16 July 2020 The clip, posted on his Facebook page, juxtaposes historical footage of civil rights protests, Ku Klux Klan rallies and footage from the protests and unrest over the weekend. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hear this powerful song about George Floyd from Horseshoes & Hand Grenades' Adam Greuel," 1 June 2020 The ad juxtaposed pictures of violent chaos, presumably overseas, with a picture of a young boy waving an American flag. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "These are the political ads Cambridge Analytica designed for you," 10 Jan. 2020 Maximalism juxtaposes visual elements to synthesize them into something new. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "The battle between minimalist and maximalist fashion has reached a new equilibrium," 7 Dec. 2019 The Biden campaign juxtaposes videos of Trump's gaffes with foreign leaders with photos of Biden traveling the world to meet with diplomats. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, ""A president the world is laughing at": New Biden campaign ad uses viral NATO video and world leaders mocking Trump," 5 Dec. 2019 That approach juxtaposes sharply with others in the race, specifically Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who advocate for universal and near-universal (respectively) student loan debt forgiveness and free college. NBC News, "Klobuchar proposes plan to reduce college costs, not make it free," 26 Oct. 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

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Juxtapose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juxtapose. Accessed 1 Oct. 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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