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 Maybe not in a leadership sense, or even talent-wise, but merely his immense physical presence that struck fear in opposing C-USA offensive linemen for three seasons, and more than likely on the next level in the NFL. Evan Dudley, al, "‘Job interview': UAB’s D-line leaders looking for depth," 18 Mar. 2020 Together, the duo spent decades vexing N.F.L. rivals from coast to coast, often with stirring, improbable, last-minute comebacks that left lasting scars in the psyches of opposing fans. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Tom Brady Lifted the Patriots. Now Comes a Second Act.," 17 Mar. 2020 Cornerback Patrick Peterson noted that adding Hopkins into the mix for quarterback Kyler Murray and alongside Larry Fitzgerald can make the job of opposing defenses much harder. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals players react to DeAndre Hopkins, David Johnson trade," 16 Mar. 2020 The incident occurred during the Six Nations match between England and Wales on Saturday when Marler squeezed the groin area of Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones during a scuffle between opposing players. Calum Trenaman, CNN, "Rugby player Joe Marler banned for 10 weeks after grabbing opponent's genitals," 12 Mar. 2020 Ohio State’s defense led the nation in opposing quarterback rating (97.50, the next-lowest being Clemson’s 105.37), and passing yards allowed (156 per game). Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How fatherhood gave Ohio State football’s Damon Arnette the clarity to rise up 2020 NFL Draft boards," 9 Mar. 2020 The Cowboys could find a lot of success moving Sanders around the formation to create mismatches against the weak link in opposing secondaries. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: Here are some contingency plans in case the Cowboys lose WR Amari Cooper to free agency," 6 Mar. 2020 His father spent years on the run and three uncles were sent to labour camps for opposing the dictatorship of Mathieu Kérékou, one of dozens of autocrats who bestrode Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. The Economist, "Generation game Young Africans want more democracy," 5 Mar. 2020 If the numbers hold, the Prime Minister still must coax at least three parliamentarians from opposing parties to his side. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Israel’s Conservative Consensus," 4 Mar. 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

21 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oppose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oppose. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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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

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