verb op·pose \ ə-ˈpōz \
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

Definition of oppose

opposed; opposing
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



Examples of oppose in a Sentence

  1. The governor opposes the death penalty.

  2. The change is opposed by many of the town's business leaders.

  3. The group opposes the mayor and is trying to find a candidate to run against her.

  4. You've opposed every suggestion I've made.

  5. He met the man who will oppose him in the next election.

  6. These two teams opposed each other in last year's playoffs.

  7. We're hoping we can get more senators to oppose the legislation.

Recent Examples of oppose from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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, 1pose," 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 1position

Synonym Discussion of 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

OPPOSE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of oppose for English Language Learners

  • : 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)

OPPOSE Defined for Kids


verb op·pose \ ə-ˈpōz \

Definition of oppose for Students

opposed; opposing
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.

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb op·pose \ ə-ˈpōz \

medical Definition of oppose

opposed; opposing
: 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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to beat or defeat soundly

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