op·​pose | \ ə-ˈpōz How to pronounce oppose (audio) \
opposed; opposing

Definition of oppose

transitive verb

1 : to place over against something so as to provide resistance, counterbalance, or contrast one military force opposed to another concreteness as opposed to abstraction— L. E. Lynch
2 : to place opposite or against something oppose the enemy oppose a congressional bill
3 : to offer resistance to

Other Words from oppose

opposer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for oppose

oppose, combat, resist, withstand mean to set oneself against someone or something. oppose can apply to any conflict, from mere objection to bitter hostility or warfare. opposed the plan combat stresses the forceful or urgent countering of something. combat disease resist implies an overt recognition of a hostile or threatening force and a positive effort to counteract or repel it. resisting temptation withstand suggests a more passive resistance. trying to withstand peer pressure

Examples of oppose in a Sentence

The governor opposes the death penalty. The change is opposed by many of the town's business leaders. The group opposes the mayor and is trying to find a candidate to run against her. You've opposed every suggestion I've made. He met the man who will oppose him in the next election. These two teams opposed each other in last year's playoffs. We're hoping we can get more senators to oppose the legislation. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The State Financial Officers Foundation this year hired CRC Advisors, a conservative strategy firm that was founded by Leonard Leo, who has led a multiyear effort to stack federal courts with judges who oppose climate action. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2022 Republicans and business groups, who oppose the proposal, point to official estimates showing tax increases for middle-income households. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 3 Aug. 2022 In Arizona, the Republican gubernatorial primary features a proxy battle between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, the former running mates who might oppose each other for the 2024 presidential nomination. Editors, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2022 Which is literally the exact opposite of the desire and focus of the new leadership, who expressly oppose creation and release of big branded IP on the streaming service and who instead mandate a theatrical approach with major content brands. Mark Hughes, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 Kosovo’s government on Monday began issuing extra documents to Serbian citizens crossing into its territory, as Serbs living in the north of the country who oppose the decision blockaded roads leading to two border crossings. Reuters, NBC News, 1 Aug. 2022 Local prosecutors who oppose Gleicher's ruling have asked the Court of Appeals to overturn it. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 29 July 2022 Those who oppose reproductive rights paint expectant parents who support them as unfit, baby-hating hypocrites. Sonja Sharpstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 Democrats have been sparring for weeks with Republicans who oppose gun safety measures despite a string of mass shootings across the United States, including the May 24 massacre at a Uvalde elementary school that left 21 dead and 17 injured. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 23 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oppose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of oppose

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oppose

Middle English opposen "to question, examine, accuse" (as past participle opposed "opposite, contrary"), borrowed from Anglo-French opposer "to counter, argue in opposition, question, interrogate," re-formation, with poser "to place, pose entry 1," of Latin oppōnere (perfect opposuī, past participle oppositus) "to place (over or against), place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply," from ob- ob- + pōnere "to place, set" — more at position entry 1

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oppose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppose. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for oppose


op·​pose | \ ə-ˈpōz How to pronounce oppose (audio) \
opposed; opposing

Kids Definition of oppose

1 : to disagree with or disapprove of They oppose the proposed changes.
2 : to compete against She will oppose the mayor in November's election.
3 : to provide contrast to Good opposes evil.
4 : to offer resistance to : try to stop or defeat The group will oppose the new law.


transitive verb
op·​pose | \ ə-ˈpōz How to pronounce oppose (audio) \
opposed; opposing

Medical Definition of oppose

: to place the ball of (a first digit) against the corresponding part of a second digit of the same hand or foot some monkeys oppose the big toe

More from Merriam-Webster on oppose

Nglish: Translation of oppose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oppose for Arabic Speakers


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