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

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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 Newer residents moving in are starting off with higher incomes as opposed to older and longtime residents who may have lower incomes, causing them to feel the burden of rising taxes even more. NBC News, "As Fulshear grows, Texas town becomes less diverse," 11 Nov. 2019 The program expires every two years and must be renewed, which President Trump has opposed. Christopher Roth, azcentral, "Group gathers at state Capitol in support of DACA on eve of Supreme Court case," 11 Nov. 2019 Julian argued in a committee filing opposing the settlement on Friday that the deal would improperly prioritize insurers’ claims over those of individual victims. J.d. Morris, SFChronicle.com, "PG&E bankruptcy: Newsom tells judge California may propose its own plan," 11 Nov. 2019 Those opposed were 175 Democrats and one independent. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Impeachment Agitates Partisan Passions," 10 Nov. 2019 Football and faith go hand-in-hand in Texas and one photo captured that kind of special moment under the lights last Friday night as two opposing high school players united in prayer. Fox News, "Texas high school football player goes viral after praying for opponent whose mom is battling cancer," 9 Nov. 2019 The secondary didn't force any interceptions, but for once, opposing receivers weren't running wide open all over the field. Jim Vertuno, Houston Chronicle, "Cameron Dicker FG sends Texas over Kansas State," 9 Nov. 2019 Other mosques Hindu groups also oppose many other religious Muslim sites in the country. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "The Ayodhya dispute has cast a shadow on the future of these Indian mosques," 9 Nov. 2019 As an impeachment crisis looms, CIA and FBI veterans are taking a troubling lead in opposing Trump at the ballot box. Jefferson Morley, The New Republic, "The “Deep State” Is a Political Party," 8 Nov. 2019

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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Statistics for oppose

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for oppose

The first known use of oppose was in 1579

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More Definitions for oppose


How to pronounce oppose (audio)

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 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.
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oppose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oppose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oppose

Spanish Central: Translation of oppose

Nglish: Translation of oppose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oppose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oppose

What made you want to look up oppose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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