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.

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The assassination of then-opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 united the regime’s opponents and ultimately led to its downfall three years later. Feliz Solomon, WSJ, 10 May 2022 Protesters have attacked opposition politicians as well as those aligned with the Rajapaksas, Abeyagoonasekera noted. Washington Post, 10 May 2022 The legislature was also reorganized to all but eliminate opposition voices. Staff Writer, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 May 2022 In past contests, opposition candidates received hundreds of votes. Linda Lew / Bloomberg, Time, 9 May 2022 Journalists critical of the Erdoğan regime have been beaten with baseball bats and iron rods, and opposition activists have been sentenced to decades in prison. The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 But opposition leaders, critics and others eager for change say his rise is leading the East African country toward hereditary rule. Rodney Muhumuza, ajc, 8 May 2022 The legislature was also reorganized to all but eliminate opposition voices. Fox News, 8 May 2022 The process has always been tightly controlled, but China removed any veneer of competition or opposition this time. New York Times, 8 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near opposition



oppositional defiant disorder

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Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Opposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposition. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for opposition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on opposition

Nglish: Translation of opposition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opposition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opposition


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