verb (1)
\ ˈpōz How to pronounce pose (audio) \
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

Billie posed for V Magazine wearing a Victorian-style wedding dress with a bouquet of lilies. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Billie Eilish Legit Wore a Wedding Dress on the Cover of V Magazine," 19 Aug. 2019 Images and video of one of the men inside the bus appear to be one of the people posing in the American Guard photo. oregonlive.com, "1 hammer, 1 ‘antifa mob chase’: A closer look at Portland’s viral protest moments," 18 Aug. 2019 Experts are divided over the threat ISIS poses in Afghanistan Some analysts have speculated that Afghanistan could provide fertile ground for the central Islamic State organization to regroup. Washington Post, "The Islamic State is far from defeated. Here’s what you need to know about its affiliate in Afghanistan.," 18 Aug. 2019 The You actress posed in an open trench coat, a pair of red stiletto cowboy boots, and a gorgeous pair of earrings. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pregnant Shay Mitchell Just Wore an Open Trench Coat, Cowboy Boots, and Nothing Else," 17 Aug. 2019 Pictures of visitors posing in front of the Millennium Falcon fill Instagram feeds. Orlando Sentinel Podcasts, orlandosentinel.com, "PODCAST: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: What to expect at Disney World opening? (Ep. 11)," 15 Aug. 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now Sheeran, who is currently on tour, also shared a photo of himself posing in the air while Björnsson effortlessly supported the entirety of his weight. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Come and See Game of Thrones' The Mountain Lift Ed Sheeran Over His Head," 14 Aug. 2019 Certainly, genuine machine intelligence (also known as artificial general intelligence), of the sort that would power a Star Trek–like computer, capable of analyzing all sorts of queries posed in ordinary English, would be worth far more than that. Gary Marcus, WIRED, "DeepMind's Losses and the Future of Artificial Intelligence," 14 Aug. 2019 The photos captured the couple strolling through the store, posing in the floral area and in the frozen foods section, leaning over a shopping cart and sharing a smooch through a bag of potato chips. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "Engagement photos in Publix a pleasure for Florida couple," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The woman spent about 20 minutes performing a series of poses right at the edge of the chalk cliff, 200 feet above jagged rocks. Ben Cusack, Fox News, "Woman seen doing yoga on edge of crumbling cliff," 25 June 2018 After getting a tip that Del Castillo was practicing without a license, the health department opened an investigation and had an investigator pose as a potential customer over email. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Unlicensed “health coach” claims health advice is free speech—court disagrees," 20 July 2019 Your goal celebration, a pose with outstretched arms, is now iconic. Time, "Megan Rapinoe on Equal Pay, World Cup Celebrations and Trump," 10 July 2019 The actor shared on the red carpet that some of the toy’s physicality and hilarious tendency to strike poses on his motorcycle was inspired by his own ideas and enthusiasm while meeting with the team at Pixar. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Keanu Reeves had no idea he was the internet's latest boyfriend," 12 June 2019 Whether walking Parisian runways, owning ad campaigns, or striking irreverent poses alongside party guests, MacDowell—with her sunny, stylish demeanor and hair like that—is as stunning as ever. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "At 61, Andie MacDowell's Signature Curls Are More Timeless Than Ever," 24 May 2019 Jenner took the challenge to new heights and performed a pirouette pose on a moving jet ski, gracefully unscrewing the cap with the top of her foot. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Has an Extreme Fashion Take on the Latest Social Media Challenge," 9 July 2019 Alex Sandro, on the other hand, opts for a more serious pose. SI.com, "Copa América 2019: Seleção Celebrate Tournament Triumph on Social Media," 8 July 2019 At her studio, students practice dance, yoga and aerial yoga, which is practiced using bands that hang from the ceiling to perform different yoga poses. Ashlyn Rollins, The Mercury News, "‘When will this end?’ Months after Camp Fire, living in Paradise still feels like ‘everybody’s in crisis’," 7 July 2019

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

22 Aug 2019

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


\ ˈpōz How to pronounce pose (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on pose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pose

Spanish Central: Translation of pose

Nglish: Translation of pose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pose for Arabic Speakers

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 usually brief trip or an expedition

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