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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The session was boycotted by Kurdish and many Sunni lawmakers who opposed the decision or took issue with elements of the resolution. Time, "Iraq's Outgoing Prime Minister Says U.S. Troops Must Leave," 7 Jan. 2020 After Kristallnacht, the U.S. Consulate in Berlin alone received 160,000 applications for visas, but 77 percent of Americans opposed increasing the quotas. Ruth Franklin, Harper's magazine, "Salka the Salonnière," 6 Jan. 2020 Trump’s top foreign-policy advisors currently range from uber-hawks who oppose any diplomacy with Tehran to yes-men who don’t push back against the president’s worse impulses. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s Next Impeachable Offense is Nigh," 6 Jan. 2020 Here’s why: Denbrock remains Notre Dame’s best play-caller over the past 15 seasons when measured by both the frequency of his offenses exceeding the opposing defenses’ averages in scoring (89 percent) and yards allowed (77 percent). Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame football: Factors that go into hiring an offensive coordinator," 6 Jan. 2020 The first Lunar Eclipse of the year arrives on Friday at 2:21 p.m. EST in sensitive Cancer, opposing thought-ruling Mercury, structured Saturn, and powerful Pluto. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 6 Jan. 2020 While opposing teams have shot over 40% from long range 15 times -- a rather alarming number considering the league average is around 35.4% -- the Bucks have gone 11-4 in those games. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spurs 126, Bucks 104: A five-game winning streak ends in a barrage of three-pointers," 6 Jan. 2020 That bias might, for instance, lead us to over- or under-estimate the size and influence of an opposing group. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "It’s the network, stupid: Study offers fresh insight into why we’re so divided," 4 Jan. 2020 Having witnessed the impact of America’s intervention in Iraq, even those who oppose the regime know a war in Iran would have devastating consequences. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "One thing unites Americans and Iranians: Nobody wants a war," 3 Jan. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oppose

Time Traveler for oppose

Time Traveler

The first known use of oppose was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Statistics for oppose

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oppose.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposer. Accessed 22 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to help to grow, develop, or succeed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!