op·pose | \ ə-ˈpōz \
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner also opposed Snell’s request for the file. Shawn Musgrave, BostonGlobe.com, "Legal battle over medical examiner’s track record," 14 July 2018 Wilson’s group also opposes the kiosks, which would be more than 11-feet tall and feature 65-inch video screens. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Public outcry prompts port to shelve looser policy for building wrap ads," 13 July 2018 The one pipeline Trump actually opposes: Trump continued Wednesday to lash out at Germany for securing natural gas via a controversial 800-mile pipeline planned to run under the Baltic Sea from Russia. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Republicans can't agree on this climate deal brokered by Obama," 12 July 2018 In 2003, Bush nominated Kavanaugh for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but Senate Democrats opposed him for a résumé that appeared too partisan. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 Puckett and other officials from the northern suburbs opposed the bond campaign. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Quiet agitator at CMS prepares to rattle some cages in his second year," 12 July 2018 As with many issues with ties to Trump, the public is divided across partisan lines, with Republicans mostly approving of the policy and Democrats largely opposed. Hannah Fingerhut, The Christian Science Monitor, "Poll: Americans have relatively high confidence in Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Although county staff recommended removing a 25 percent commercial minimum standard for mixed-use projects on side streets, which would allow up to 100 percent residential projects, the boards jointly opposed changing the standard. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Design groups weigh mixed-use densities, historic trees," 3 July 2018 Like many in Willacy County, Mayor Gonzales is a Hispanic Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton and opposes Trump’s immigration policies. Bloomberg.com, "Prisonville, Texas, Hopes to Reboot Its Economy on the Back of Trump’s Immigration Crackdown," 28 June 2018

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.

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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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Learn More about oppose

Dictionary Entries near oppose







opposing train

Phrases Related to oppose

as opposed to

diametrically opposed to

Statistics for oppose

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oppose

The first known use of oppose was in 1579

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More Definitions for oppose



English Language Learners Definition of oppose

: to disagree with or disapprove of (something or someone)

: to compete against (someone) : to be an opponent of (someone)

: to try to stop or defeat (something)


op·pose | \ ə-ˈpōz \
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.

op·pose | \ ə-ˈpōz \
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

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Comments on oppose

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