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 Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly oppose the relief bill, casting it as bloated and budget-busting, with some heaping particular scorn on a measure to send $350 billion in assistance to states and cities. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, "TALKERS021521," 15 Feb. 2021 Overall, 83 percent of Texans oppose the protest that turned into a riot. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, "More than 80% of Texas Republicans believe baseless 2020 election fraud claims, UH poll finds," 4 Feb. 2021 Both organizations oppose dolphins and whales being kept in captivity, where they are held in tanks much smaller than their natural habitat range and forced to perform tricks. Los Angeles Times, "Dana Point named first Whale Heritage Site in the U.S.," 27 Jan. 2021 Some Democrats oppose several of the spending programs that Mr. Biden has proposed, along with many that Mr. Sanders supports. New York Times, "Atop the Powerful Budget Committee at Last, Bernie Sanders Wants to Go Big," 12 Jan. 2021 Republicans oppose the former, while Democrats think the liability shield could hurt workers. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Bipartisan group of senators unveil COVID-19 relief bills," 15 Dec. 2020 Henn said liberals would oppose subsidies for carbon capture, offshore drilling, and advanced nuclear, among other things. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy, presented by API: Congressional leaders in talks for last-minute deal on long-sought energy innovation package," 8 Dec. 2020 But John Cornwell, president of the Portside condominium building homeowners association just west of the seawall lot, said residents there would oppose the project. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Redevelopment of S.F.’s Piers 30-32 face — what else? — another waterfront fight," 21 Sep. 2020 Carpenter also said the same people who oppose masks in Wisconsin are the same people who wanted to kidnap Michigan’s governor. Benjamin Yount, Washington Examiner, "Wisconsin Democrats: Ending coronavirus emergency order will literally ‘kill our neighbors’," 27 Jan. 2021

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

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oppose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppose. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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 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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