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 In Charleston, the state capital, where another HIV outbreak is emerging, a syringe services program that had served more than 6,000 clients was closed in early 2018 in the face of political opposition. Judith Feinberg, STAT, "The view from West Virginia: the end of HIV transmission is a distant dream," 1 Dec. 2019 Among those vouching for Billingslea is Juan Guaidó, the leader of the Venezuelan opposition to President Nicolás Maduro, who praised Billingslea in a September letter to the Senate for leading the US effort to sanction members of the Maduro regime. BostonGlobe.com, "To human rights advocates, Billingslea’s record at Treasury is besides the point: If named to the State Department post, they argue, he will simply lack the credibility to advocate for his portfolio inside the Trump administration and abroad.," 29 Nov. 2019 The government has locked up members of the opposition and journalists. The Economist, "Politics this week," 28 Nov. 2019 The project is funded largely by $30 million in bonds narrowly approved by voters in 2016 that has been the subject of intense opposition over the size, cost and potential environmental impact. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, "Winter Park approves terms of $6M tourist tax grant for Canopy project," 25 Nov. 2019 Leaders argued that such a monumental change would do nothing to solve the problem of local opposition. Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, ProPublica, "Separated by Design: Why Affordable Housing Is Built in Areas With High Crime, Few Jobs and Struggling Schools," 25 Nov. 2019 Portland is outscored by 3.4 points on average with an average score of 115.3-111.9 in favor of the opposition. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Trail Blazers-Bucks odds, picks and best bets," 21 Nov. 2019 But the agency’s directors voted to drop that proposal last year after an outpouring of opposition. Ian James, azcentral, "‘They’re going to dry up’: Debate erupts over plan to move water from farmland to suburbs," 20 Nov. 2019 Bosma held Republicans together despite thundering chants of opposition in the building and public marches through the streets Downtown. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "House Speaker Brian Bosma to retire after 34 years," 19 Nov. 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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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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Opposition.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposition?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=opposi02. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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