jux·​ta·​pose ˈjək-stə-ˌpōz How to pronounce juxtapose (audio)
juxtaposed; juxtaposing

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

Did you know?

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."

Example Sentences

a display that juxtaposes modern art with classical art
Recent Examples on the Web Or juxtapose representational and abstract elements in the same painting (Mehretu). Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, 9 Nov. 2022 Incorporate vintage art or fresh flowers to juxtapose the sleek surfaces with some texture and color. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Oct. 2022 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 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.

Word History


probably back-formation from juxtaposition

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of juxtapose was in 1851


Dictionary Entries Near juxtapose

Cite this Entry

“Juxtapose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juxtapose. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



jux·​ta·​pose ˈjək-stə-ˌpōz How to pronounce juxtapose (audio)
juxtaposed; juxtaposing
: to place side by side
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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