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


defiance, resistance



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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

This would lead to two weeks of mayhem in which the opposition would try to force a general election by calling for a vote of no confidence in Johnson's government. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "Boris Johnson is out of Brexit ideas," 10 Sep. 2019 Under Martino’s guidance, Mexico is 11-0 and has outscored the opposition 37-14. Terrence Thomas, ExpressNews.com, "What to watch for when Argentina, Mexico collide," 9 Sep. 2019 Herman Mashaba, who was elected mayor of Johannesburg for the opposition Democratic Alliance, regularly scapegoats foreigners for crime in the city. The Economist, "Xenophobic violence flares in South Africa," 9 Sep. 2019 The numbers don’t seem to add up for the opposition when Martinez is on the field. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "McCabe: Muskegon star QB Cameron Martinez is never satisfied," 8 Sep. 2019 As for Nix, Green noted his velocity had dipped as of late even while limiting the opposition to two runs in five innings Thursday in Double-A Amarillo’s playoff game. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Franchy Cordero’s setback, Nix and Richards moving forward," 6 Sep. 2019 For the second straight week the Eagles dominated the opposition. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland Dawson dominant in win over Summer Creek," 6 Sep. 2019 That prompted a rebel group of 21 Tories to join with the opposition to pass a bill to prevent Britain crashing out of the European Union. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "In Britain, even the prime minister’s family is falling apart over Brexit," 5 Sep. 2019 Johnson now wants a general election in mid-October, but the opposition won’t play ball until the anti-no-deal law is etched in stone. David Meyer, Fortune, "Dow Chemical’s Sustainability Drive: CEO Daily," 4 Sep. 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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Statistics for opposition

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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
: 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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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