1 of 3

verb (1)

posed; posing

transitive verb

: to set forth or offer for attention or consideration
let me pose a question
: to come to attention as : present
smoking poses a health risk
: to put or set in place
: to place (someone, such as a model) in a studied attitude

intransitive verb

: to assume a posture or attitude usually for artistic purposes
: to affect an attitude or character usually to deceive or impress
posed as a doctor to gain access to the ward


2 of 3


: a sustained posture
especially : one assumed for artistic effect
: an attitude, role, or characteristic assumed for effect


3 of 3

verb (2)

posed; posing
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

Example Sentences

Noun 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the anti-gay law signed by President Vladimir Putin in December have combined to pose some problems for the NHL and its 32 teams. Stephen Whyno, Chicago Tribune, 24 Mar. 2023 Like the storm that descended upon the Bay Area and Santa Cruz this week, this means powerful winds could again pose risks to infrastructure in communities that have already been seriously affected by this past winter’s storms. Gerry Díaz, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Mar. 2023 While severe thunderstorms and flooding pose risk to most homes in the U.S., McKinley County, New Mexico emerged as the least risky county to live due to its lack of hurricane and earthquake risk. Brenda Richardson, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 The shrinking workforce has also prompted concerns about economic decline, which would pose a potential problem for the rest of the world, given China’s key role as the second-largest global economy. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 23 Mar. 2023 But a full ban of the app is another matter, which raises a number of questions: What data privacy risk does TikTok pose? Doug Jacobson, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2023 Cybersecurity expert Bree Fowler from CNET warns that crypto ATMs pose a unique risk because many are unregulated and unlicensed. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, 22 Mar. 2023 Smoke shops, gas stations and tobacco stores also sell these products, and state and federal regulators have said these products — particularly those containing Delta-8 THC — could pose a public health risk. Giacomo Bologna, Baltimore Sun, 22 Mar. 2023 That could pose a threat to human health, although COUG has never been detected in humans. Byerik Stokstad, science.org, 22 Mar. 2023
When the pop music started playing, everyone uniformly raised from their machines, adjusted a yellow lever, then hopped back on quickly to start in a child’s pose. Dominique B. Fluker, Women's Health, 25 Mar. 2023 The first clue should’ve been that Trump is taking one knee in a pose that would be somewhat difficult for a fit and healthy man who’s 76 years old, let alone Trump. Matt Novak, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 Jupiter’s pose is almost incomprehensible, his face concealed, his limbs flailing in different directions – very undignified, particularly for an oversize Olympian god. Monika Schmitter, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2023 View full post on Instagram Bieber changed into an orange string bikini with thong bottoms for a pic taken during sunset, where strikes a carefree pose with her arms extended and head tilted up. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Mar. 2023 Other such mummies reside in temples and museums around Japan: the researchers found a total of 15, many which are frozen in a similar screaming pose. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 9 Mar. 2023 Keough tries to keep a straight face, then abandons her pose and laughs. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, 3 Mar. 2023 Smiling for the camera with your diploma in hand is a classic pose, obvi. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 27 Feb. 2023 There are five statues in total around the temple and garden, each a different pose. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pose.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near pose

Cite this Entry

“Pose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pose. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
posed; posing
: to hold or cause to hold a special position of the body
posed for fashion photographers
: to pretend to be what one is not
pose as a soldier
: to offer for consideration
posed a question


2 of 2 noun
: a position of the body held for a special purpose
: a pretended attitude
my cheerfulness was a pose

More from Merriam-Webster on pose

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