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 oppositional (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 But, last school year, parents attended board meetings to share their opposition to the collegiate calendar, stating that end-of-semester events, like holiday concerts, would be negatively impacted if finals are held before winter break. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Glenbrook School District 225 board approves academic calendar that includes final exams after winter break," 17 Sep. 2019 For the first time, the teachers union at Cincinnati Public Schools formally voiced its opposition to Teach for America. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati teachers union voices opposition to Teach for America. Board candidate disappointed," 16 Sep. 2019 Peters has increasingly come under fire by local environmental groups for his opposition to the resolution, drawing regular protests at his office in Mission Valley. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rep. Peters rebuffs Green New Deal activists, says bipartisan approach to climate change working," 16 Sep. 2019 Andrew Yang voiced his opposition to teachers unions. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "Are the Democratic Presidential Debates Working?," 13 Sep. 2019 At the first debate in Miami, Biden was called out by rivals for comments at a fundraiser about segregationist lawmakers and Sen. Kamala Harris landed the biggest blow over his opposition to busing to integrate schools during his time as a senator. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "5 things we learned from the 2020 Democratic debate in Houston," 13 Sep. 2019 In June, during the first Democratic debate, those virtues elided as Ms Harris excoriated Joe Biden, the frontrunner, for his opposition in the 1970s to school bussing, a policy Ms Harris had benefited from as a child. The Economist, "Can Kamala Harris recover from her slump?," 12 Sep. 2019 The Wildcats have begun the season at 2-0 and outscored its opposition 132-0. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, "Western High football team hopeful of strong season," 12 Sep. 2019 Ryan, who said her opposition to the large development proposed for her Hospital Hill neighborhood inspired her candidacy, received 1,104 votes, or 19 percent of the total ballots cast. BostonGlobe.com, "Mayor Koch will face off against political newcomer - The Boston Globe," 12 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for opposition

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

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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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Comments on opposition

What made you want to look up opposition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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