opposition

noun op·po·si·tion \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of opposition

1 :a configuration (see configuration 1b) in which one celestial (see 1celestial 2) body is opposite another (such as the sun) in the sky or in which the elongation (see elongation 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
5 a :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.

oppositional

play \ˌä-pə-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nᵊl\ adjective

Examples of opposition in a Sentence

  1. They're going ahead with the plans despite strong opposition from residents.

  2. The nominee faces strong opposition in the Senate.

  3. The proposed change has met with opposition from the town's business leaders.

  4. Rebels have so far offered little opposition to advancing troops.

  5. Each candidate is focused on raising more money than the opposition.

  6. The coach advised her team not to underestimate the opposition.

  7. The leader of the Opposition criticized the prime minister for his comments.

Recent Examples of opposition from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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



OPPOSITION Defined for English Language Learners

opposition

noun

Definition of opposition for English Language Learners

  • : 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

  • the opposition : a person or group that you are trying to defeat or succeed against : a person or group that you are competing with


OPPOSITION Defined for Kids

opposition

noun op·po·si·tion \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən \

Definition of opposition for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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