op·po·si·tion | \ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən \

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, -ˈzi-shə-nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for opposition


contrariety, contrariness, oppositeness, polarity


identicalness, sameness

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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

Matka and Zinn roared to a quick 6-1 second set, facing little to no opposition from their opponents. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Matrka, Zinn take women's doubles title at The Met," 13 July 2018 Initially, Plakon’s bill targeted, and drew opposition from, other public employee unions but left out those that represent police, firefighters and correctional workers. Leslie Postal, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New teachers union rules spark debate — and more dues-paying members," 12 July 2018 But after outrage by the Israeli government, as well as opposition from the ruling government in Ireland, the measure was postponed. Sean Savage, Jewish Journal, "Ireland goes ahead with legislation to boycott products made in Israeli settlements," 12 July 2018 President Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court last night, sparking immediate opposition from local politicians. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Local Dems oppose SCOTUS pick, school board hosts first public meeting | Morning Newsletter," 10 July 2018 Houston Raptors coach Bobby Benjamin, whose team was the opposition, sent the clips of players assaulting officials to ESPN. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Watch: Opponent of Texas AAU team involved in massive brawl with referees," 9 July 2018 The executive orders have drawn opposition from a majority of Senate Democrats and a bipartisan group in the House, who have written letters to the president. Lisa Rein, Anchorage Daily News, "New curbs on federal unions begin to take effect," 9 July 2018 Juventus are difficult opposition to have to face in Europe even now, without Ronaldo. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo Is What Juventus Needs to Finally Win Champions League," 4 July 2018 Who’s against it: There was no formal opposition to the bill, but a handful of lawmakers from both parties voted against it, some of whom said year-round saving time would mean children would be going to school in the dark during the winter. Melody Gutierrez, SFChronicle.com, "Gas taxes, cage-free chickens and a chopped-up California top fall ballot," 3 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to opposition

in opposition to

the opposition

Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for opposition

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

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More Definitions for opposition



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

the opposition : 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 \

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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