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

Joining in opposing the hike were: State Rep. Michael Hanna, Sen. Judith Schwank and student Joar Dahn. Susan Snyder, Philly.com, "Pa. state universities to hike tuition nearly 3 percent," 12 July 2018 The first, Carl von Ossietzky, died of tuberculosis in Germany in 1938 while jailed for opposing Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. Gerry Shih, The Seattle Times, "Nobel widow allowed to leave China after long house arrest," 10 July 2018 The 6-foot-2 Frenchman thrilled Spurs fans by weaving his way through the teeth of opposing defenses at breakneck speed, kissing the ball softly off the glass and then falling hard to the court. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker’s fearless drives won’t be forgotten," 6 July 2018 Republican leaders in Florida have cited various reasons for opposing this step. Phil Galewitz And David Smiley, miamiherald, "In Florida, mid-term elections hold little hope for Medicaid expansion," 6 July 2018 His quick hands, whistle recognition and technique allowed him to put constant pressure on opposing teams. Glenn Graham, baltimoresun.com, "2018 All-Metro boys lacrosse first and second teams," 4 July 2018 Similar to Rabiot, its method involved eating food daubed with the colors of opposing teams. Billy Perrigo, Time, "'Psychic' Octopus That Correctly Predicted Japan's World Cup Results Is Killed and Sold for Food," 2 July 2018 The artists will join Laverne Cox, Eugenio Derbez, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Kamala Harris and others at City Hall to focus on opposing the separation and detention of immigrant families that the Trump Administration is failing to resolve. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "John Legend to Perform at Freedom for Immigrants March in Los Angeles," 29 June 2018 For DeLaney and Ruckelshaus, a pair of Indianapolis lawmakers from opposing political parties, to find common ground on charter schools reveals the challenge IPS is facing to sell Broad Ripple High School. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "IPS should give charter schools a shot at Broad Ripple site, lawmakers say," 27 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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Dictionary Entries near oppose







opposing train

Statistics for oppose

Last Updated

1 Nov 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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playful or foolish behavior

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