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

This first production in season 21 almost overlaps exactly the time span that Donna has lived in Greece, juxtaposing memories of then with the reality of now. Don’t miss out! cleveland.com, "Mamma Mia! energy captivates Regina Hall: Sun Messages," 16 June 2019 High-gloss amplifies light, giving it a romantic, shimmering look, especially when juxtaposed with a softer finish. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About High-Gloss Paint," 22 May 2019 With help from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the JACK Quartet and others, her concerts are predominantly thematic, often juxtaposing the very old with the relatively new. David Allen, New York Times, "15 Classical Music Festivals to See This Summer," 17 May 2018 The Louis evokes a joyous sense of freedom and possibility by juxtaposing streams of color against a large central area of blank canvas. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Edward Burtynsky photos at Cleveland Museum of Art document mankind’s troubled relationship with water," 23 June 2019 The impending ending of the long-running show, juxtaposed with the point of the event, helping young people to achieve dreams of their futures, imparted particular poignancy this year. Leah Garchik, SFChronicle.com, "TSA asks the question: When is a shake a quiver?," 5 June 2019 Our third dimension is created by juxtaposing hundreds of different traits with their own upside-down U profiles of fitness. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Which Forecasts Are True?’," 26 Oct. 2016 Just as 2001 juxtaposes a distant past and future, the pieces Kubrick chose veered from knowingly traditional to harshly modernistic -- and their use led to resurgences in popularity of many of them. Billboard, "'2001: A Space Odyssey' 50th Anniversary: 5 Highlights from Original Soundtrack," 3 Apr. 2018 Finding the balance—getting things juxtaposed just right—that’s kind of the whole package right there. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Brexit, Bowie, Grenfell, and Burnout: 22 Minutes with the Lead Singer of Fat White Family," 27 Apr. 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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Statistics for juxtapose

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for juxtapose

The first known use of juxtapose was in 1851

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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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