verb (1)
\ˈpōz \
posed; posing

Definition of pose 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to set forth or offer for attention or consideration let me pose a question

b : to come to attention as : present smoking poses a health risk

2a : to put or set in place

b : to place (somone, such as a model) in a studied attitude

intransitive verb

1 : to assume a posture or attitude usually for artistic purposes

2 : to affect an attitude or character usually to deceive or impress posed as a doctor to gain access to the ward



Definition of pose (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a sustained posture especially : one assumed for artistic effect

2 : an attitude, role, or characteristic assumed for effect


verb (2)
posed; posing

Definition of pose (Entry 3 of 3)

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Choose the Right Synonym for pose


pose, air, airs, affectation, mannerism mean an adopted way of speaking or behaving. pose implies an attitude deliberately assumed in order to impress others. her shyness was just a pose air may suggest natural acquirement through environment or way of life. a traveler's sophisticated air airs always implies artificiality and pretentiousness. snobbish airs affectation applies to a trick of speech or behavior that strikes the observer as insincere. the posh accent is an affectation mannerism applies to an acquired eccentricity that has become a habit. gesturing with a cigarette was her most noticeable mannerism

Examples of pose in a Sentence


The photographs show the models in both clothed and nude poses. Hold that pose. It will make a great photograph. His disapproval of the war looks good to voters, but I bet it's just a pose.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And while the question of China often poses a challenge for cruelty-free brands, as the law there mandates that cosmetics must be tested on animals, this was an easy one for CoverGirl—since it isn't sold in China anyway. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "CoverGirl Just Announced It's Now Entirely Cruelty-Free," 5 Nov. 2018 The challenge to agencies posed by Google and Facebook—the publishing giants of the online world—is less immediate but more existential. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Digital Disruption Snarls Madison Avenue," 2 Nov. 2018 There was plenty of material for the show’s writers to work with: The opening mainly focused on Kavanaugh’s sputtering, sneering, and hyper-aggressive answers to the questions posed by the Senate committee. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Matt Damon Plays Brett Kavanaugh in Saturday Night Live’s Season Premiere," 30 Sep. 2018 The photo features Eugenie posing on the first day of school with her older sister, Beatrice. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie Just Shared a Back to School Throwback Photo With Princess Beatrice on Instagram," 6 Sep. 2018 Given the established health, safety and welfare risks that asbestos poses at all stages of its mining and usage, the AIA urges asbestos to be treated as a high priority chemical that is phased out of usage. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "AIA says EPA should impose a ‘blanket ban’ on asbestos," 9 Aug. 2018 Getty Images The dangers posed by Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination are very real. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Marie Claire, "If You're Not Worried About Justice Kavanaugh Overturning Roe v. Wade—You Should Be," 24 July 2018 Last month, Apple started local production of the iPhone 6S in India, as a move to battle domestic tariffs posed by the Indian government and to appeal to consumers looking for cheaper iPhones. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Samsung and Xiaomi increased their dominance of India’s mobile market last quarter," 19 July 2018 But opponents pointed to the hazards posed by more darkness later in the morning. Steven Lemongello, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida's year-round daylight saving time law on hold in Congress," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the upper level, Roma, the goddess of Rome, sits at the center on her throne in a relaxed pose, her eyes meeting those of Augustus, enthroned just to the right. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "A Man Among Gods," 21 Sep. 2018 Teacher Cami Longueville started us in child’s pose. Nicole Tsong, The Seattle Times, "Know how to make yoga even better? Goats.," 23 July 2018 Most people strike a pose on the toes of his 10-foot-tall boots. Mary Forgione, latimes.com, "Yeah, there's a giant bunny in that vineyard — no foolin' — and 9 animals, vegetables and antlers you'll want to stop and see," 1 Apr. 2018 England will need to be wary of the threat Panama pose after being drawn in the same group as the South American nation. SI.com, "Kasper Schmeichel Lucky to Avoid Serious Injury After Nasty Clash With Panama Striker," 23 Mar. 2018 With flashing eyes that tear up at the drop of a cat and a muscular frame made for monument-worthy poses, this Padraic is a strutting contradiction of attraction and repulsion, daring us to question our conventional notions of the heroic. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner Are Drenched in Blood in London," 4 July 2018 Children were presented with pictures of couples who were either in a happy, angry or neutral pose. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Fighting parents can be unhealthy for kids — but a close brother or sister helps, study says," 25 June 2018 Yet Justice Kennedy closed his third decade on the court in a decidedly rightward pose. The Economist, "Justice Kennedy is retiring. What happens now?," 30 June 2018 National Die-In, a group co-founded by Parkland survivors, is in the early stages of organizing the demonstration where protesters lie in a corpse-like pose to emphasize the effect of shooting massacres. Gray Rohrer, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Disney faces Pulse, Parkland protest for support of 'NRA sellout' Putnam," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pose.' 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 pose

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1593, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pose

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French poser, from Vulgar Latin *pausare, from Late Latin, to stop, rest, pause, from Latin pausa pause

Verb (2)

short for earlier appose, from Middle English apposen, alteration of opposen to oppose

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Statistics for pose

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pose

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

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More Definitions for pose



English Language Learners Definition of pose

: the position in which someone stands, sits, lies down, etc., especially as a model for a photograph, painting, etc.

: a kind of behavior that is intended to impress other people and that is not sincere


\ˈpōz \
posed; posing

Kids Definition of pose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to hold or cause to hold a special position of the body Everyone posed for the photo.

2 : to be or create The game poses a risk of injury.

3 : to ask (a question)

4 : to pretend to be someone or something else The impostor posed as royalty.



Kids Definition of pose (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a position of the body held for a special purpose He was photographed in different poses.

2 : a pretended attitude Her friendliness is just a pose.

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Comments on pose

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


a private place of worship

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