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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from opposition

oppositional \ ˌä-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce oppositional (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for opposition


defiance, resistance



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Coates directly addressed McConnell's opposition to the bill during his remarks. Deborah Barfield Berry, USA TODAY, "'Poison of America': Bill on slavery reparations gains backing from Sen. Chuck Schumer," 16 July 2019 The proposal hadn’t been widely announced to the public until Tuesday afternoon, when a lobbyist with the ACLU of Ohio posted on Twitter a copy of the draft rule, as well as the organization’s letter of opposition to it. Laura Hancock, cleveland.com, "State says it’s backing down from plan to ban SNAP to people convicted of drug crimes," 16 July 2019 Aquaman’’ actor Jason Momoa, who has native Hawaiian ancestry and has voiced opposition to the telescope. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, BostonGlobe.com, "Hawaiian activists prepare for Mauna Kea telescope convoys," 14 July 2019 The push to grow U.S. manufacturing has intensified amid concerns about the downsides of globalization and increased opposition to free-trade policies. Ruth Simon, WSJ, "Red Wing, Iconic U.S. Shoe Maker, Labors Mightily to Bring Production Home," 12 July 2019 San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed her opposition in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and all five FCC commissioners. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "“This is crazy”: FCC kills part of San Francisco’s broadband-competition law," 10 July 2019 Since the government began to jail parents who do not comply several years ago, the opposition has gone underground, with parents hiding their children or using fake finger markings to pretend they have been vaccinated. Leslie Roberts, Science | AAAS, "Surging cases have dashed all hope that polio might be eradicated in 2019," 10 July 2019 In May, Google abandoned an attempt to create an external AI panel after opposition to one of its members, Kay Coles James, president of conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Taser Maker Says It Won't Use Facial Recognition in Bodycams," 28 June 2019 During Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate, candidate Cory Booker called attention to the alarming murder rate of black transgender women, after moderators pressed a fellow candidate on her previous opposition of LGBTQ issues. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Cory Booker Called for Protection of Black Transgender Women During Democratic Debate," 27 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about opposition

Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opposition

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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
: 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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