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 Additionally, many Senate Republicans oppose the pro-Trump efforts. Brian Slodysko, ajc, "EXPLAINER: Why Georgia won't affect Electoral College count," 5 Jan. 2021 Many Republicans oppose simply passing an increase in stimulus checks, which would come with a $464 billion price tag. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Senate advances override of Trump's defense bill veto," 30 Dec. 2020 On Sunday, for the first time since the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson on Dec. 8, the Cowboys will oppose a quarterback who began the year as his team’s No. 1 option. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "How special teams ace C.J. Goodwin became the catalyst that helped the Cowboys contain Jalen Hurts," 29 Dec. 2020 Senate Republicans oppose the $2,000 for these sound reasons, but Mr. Trump has put them in a political spot. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Gives Schumer an Assist," 29 Dec. 2020 Lawmakers on the defense committees from both parties oppose moving troops from Germany and favor keeping a small force in Afghanistan at least through the spring, while peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban continue. David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times, "Trump vetoes defense bill, and Congress is set to override him for first time," 23 Dec. 2020 As for anti-vaxxers — the approximately 16% of Americans who, according to a pre-pandemic Gallup poll, oppose all vaccines — Weber said trying to change their minds isn't cost-effective. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Inside the $250M effort to convince Americans the coronavirus vaccines are safe," 23 Dec. 2020 Environmentalists and tribes, particularly the Havasupai Tribe, oppose any new mines in the area. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Native people send “prayers, protections and congratulations” for Interior nominee Deb Haaland," 19 Dec. 2020 Majorities of every major racial group oppose defunding the police, and some Democratic members of Congress acknowledge that this slogan and the movement behind it hurt their party at the polls. George Hawley, National Review, "The Working-Class-Party Myth, and What Really Motivates Voters," 13 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for oppose

Time Traveler

The first known use of oppose was in 1579

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Statistics for oppose

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oppose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppose. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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