op·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce opposition (audio) \

Definition of opposition

1 : a configuration (see configuration sense 1b) in which one celestial (see celestial entry 1 sense 2) body is opposite another (such as the sun) in the sky or in which the elongation (see elongation sense 1) is near or equal to 180 degrees
2 : the relation between two propositions having the same subject and predicate but differing in quantity or quality or both
3 : an act of setting opposite or over against : the condition of being so set He spoke in opposition to the new law.
4 : hostile or contrary action or condition offered strong opposition to the advance of the enemy
5a : something that opposes specifically : a body of persons opposing something Each candidate is focused on raising more money than the opposition.
b often capitalized : a political party opposing and prepared to replace the party in power The opposition is likely to win the upcoming election.

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Other Words from opposition

oppositional \ ˌä-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce opposition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for opposition



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Examples of opposition in a Sentence

They're going ahead with the plans despite strong opposition from residents. The nominee faces strong opposition in the Senate. The proposed change has met with opposition from the town's business leaders. Rebels have so far offered little opposition to advancing troops. Each candidate is focused on raising more money than the opposition. The coach advised her team not to underestimate the opposition. The leader of the Opposition criticized the prime minister for his comments.
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Recent Examples on the Web Like Medicare for All, which would reshape one-sixth of the American economy and faces powerful opposition from the insurance industry, climate action has daunting enemies in the fossil fuel industry. Mari Uyehara, The New Republic, "Medicare for All Needs a Sunrise Movement," 18 Jan. 2021 The European Union had been struggling to negotiate an investment deal with China for four years, facing opposition from some of its members and, increasingly, the U.S. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Even Under New Leadership, Germany Won’t Confront China," 15 Jan. 2021 On Friday, the Trump administration is poised to approve several controversial land swaps, including for a lithium mine in Nevada and a copper mine in Arizona that has seen years of opposition from Native American groups. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Earth is spinning faster, and a manatee holds a political message," 15 Jan. 2021 By his own account, Mr. Miller’s crowning achievement was the legalization of casino gambling and the subsequent launch of gaming in Prince George’s, despite fierce opposition from church leaders and civic groups. Washington Post, "Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., pillar of Maryland’s state capital for decades, dies at 78," 15 Jan. 2021 Even as chairman, Johnson ran into determined opposition not just from Democrats but from key agencies of the executive branch. Byron York, Washington Examiner, "Hunter Biden's Georgia victory," 14 Jan. 2021 Couche-Tard could face stiff opposition from French unions, which have a strong presence in Carrefour supermarkets; the Canadian company has for years blocked unions from organizing among its workforce. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Seeing a ‘sovereignty’ threat (and pasta risk), France opposes Carrefour takeover," 14 Jan. 2021 The other key hire announced Thursday was Walker, who as campaign manager for Williams helped guide him to a decisive victory over Landrum despite opposition from most of the city’s political establishment. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "New Orleans DA Jason Williams names top deputies; fate of office's current staff still unclear," 14 Jan. 2021 Sponsors of similar legislation in 2019 encountered opposition from gun-control groups, law enforcement officials and prosecutors. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "Arkansas' stand-your-ground bill, explained," 6 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opposition.' 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 opposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opposition

Middle English opposicioun "location opposite something, contrary opinion, opposition of celestial bodies," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French oposicion (Anglo-French opposicion "objection, questioning"), borrowed from Medieval Latin oppositiōn-, oppositiō, going back to Late Latin, "contradiction, antithesis" (loan translation of Greek antíthesis), from Latin opposi-, variant stem of oppōnere "to place (over or against), place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at oppose

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Time Traveler for opposition

Time Traveler

The first known use of opposition was in the 14th century

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Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposition. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for opposition


How to pronounce opposition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opposition

: actions or opinions that show that you disagree with or disapprove of someone or something
: action that is done to stop or defeat someone or something
: a person or group that you are trying to defeat or succeed against : a person or group that you are competing with


op·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce opposition (audio) \

Kids Definition of opposition

1 : the state of disagreeing with or disapproving of He voiced his opposition.
2 : the action of resisting The proposal met with fierce opposition.
3 : a group of people that disagree with, disapprove of, or resist someone or something

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