po·​si·​tion | \ pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce position (audio) \

Definition of position

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of placing or arranging: such as
a : the laying down of a proposition or thesis
b : an arranging in order
2 : a point of view adopted and held to made my position on the issue clear
3a : the point or area occupied by a physical object : location took her position at the head of the line
b : a certain arrangement of bodily parts rose to a standing position
4 : a market commitment in securities or commodities also : the inventory of a market trader
5a : relative place, situation, or standing is now in a position to make decisions on his own
b : social or official rank or status
c : an employment for which one has been hired : job a position with a brokerage firm
d : a situation that confers advantage or preference


positioned; positioning\ pə-​ˈzi-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce positioning (audio) \

Definition of position (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put in a certain position positioned the chairs around the room positioned the company in the global market

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of position in a Sentence

Noun From this position, you can see all of New York City's skyline. Actors, please assume your positions. The show is about to begin. The child fell asleep in a sitting position. I was in an uncomfortable position and had to move. I was uncomfortable, so I shifted position. Return your seat to an upright position for landing. Verb He positioned the chairs around the table. The company is positioning itself to take advantage of a new market. The shortstop was positioned well to make the play. She positioned herself by the door.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Officers held him in this position for approximately 12 minutes, Magnus said. Bree Burkitt, The Arizona Republic, "Tucson in-custody death of Carlos Adrian Ingram Lopez: What we know," 25 June 2020 In late May, the company's CEO, Rico Back, was suddenly removed from his position after less than two years on the job. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "The U.K.’s 500-year-old Royal Mail faces a world of ‘more parcels and fewer letters’ as it announces major cost cuts," 25 June 2020 This position can help prevent hemorrhoids and anal fissures by reducing straining and help completely empty the bowels. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Why NASA Designed a New $23 Million Space Toilet," 22 June 2020 Republican candidate Adrienne Southworth made headlines last year when she was abruptly fired by the administration of former Gov. Matt Bevin from her position with Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "4 state Senate primaries (and one special election) to watch in Kentucky on Tuesday," 22 June 2020 However, a Justice Department official told the Washington Examiner that this is not why he was removed from his position. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Fired SDNY prosecutor refused to sign letter warning Mayor Bill de Blasio about protest and religious 'double standard'," 22 June 2020 The man who led the Southern District of New York’s (SDNY) investigations into two of Trump’s personal lawyers, as well as other probes that had rankled the President, has been removed from his position against his will. Tessa Berenson, Time, "Geoffrey Berman's Investigations Into Trump Associates Raise Concerns Over His Firing," 22 June 2020 His statement came hours after Attorney General William Barr said Berman was stepping down from his position. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Administration tries to oust US attorney investigating Trump allies, but he won’t go," 20 June 2020 His predecessor, Luiz Henrique, was fired from his position of health minister after also disagreeing with the president on how to handle the pandemic. Fox News, "Brazil's coronavirus cases top 1 million as the virus spreads," 20 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Filmmaker James Cameron’s return to New Zealand to begin production on his Avatar sequel sets the scene for the South Pacific nation to position itself as a Covid-free haven in a world still struggling to contain the pandemic. Tracy Withers / Bloomberg, Time, "New Zealand Grants James Cameron Exemption to Travel Ban So He Can Begin Filming Avatar Sequel," 24 June 2020 The goal is to be able to track Covid-19 in the university's population, and better position the university community for a return to some in-person activities. Stephanie Elam, CNN, "UC San Diego is planning to test its students, faculty and staff regularly for Covid-19 in fall," 23 June 2020 These software capabilities, combined with Jio's vast telecom subscriber base and a network of physical retail outlets, may uniquely position Jio to dominate India's digital sphere—or so Jio's new investors would like to believe. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "11 deals for $15 billion in 10 weeks: Why India’s Jio Platforms is on an investment spree," 20 June 2020 Dangerous demagogues use reification to position opposition as less than human, thereby denying their standing to criticize or object. Jennifer Mercieca, The Conversation, "A field guide to Trump’s dangerous rhetoric," 19 June 2020 Now, her die-hard supporters are channeling that organizing energy to position her for the next best thing: the Democratic vice presidential nomination. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Fabled super-organizer Elizabeth Warren and allies shift efforts to subtle vice presidential bid," 18 June 2020 An appropriate and quality desk chair can help better position your body at your desk and make sitting easier on your back. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "How to buy the best ergonomic office chair, according to experts," 18 June 2020 That sent the Mavericks into the suspension with one of their best wins of the year and helped position them to gain traction in the West this summer. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "NBA restart central: A full return-to-play schedule, the latest developments and Mavericks notes to remember," 14 June 2020 Instead, during a year when baseball on the field was taken away, the Wolverines have managed to stay relevant and position themselves for an even brighter future. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan baseball can thank College World Series run for heralded status in draft," 13 June 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1817, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for position


Middle English posycion, from Anglo-French posicioun, from Latin position-, positio, from ponere to lay down, put, place, from Old Latin *posinere, from po- away (akin to Old Church Slavonic po-, perfective prefix, Greek apo away) + Latin sinere to leave — more at of

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about position

Time Traveler for position

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for position

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Position.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/position. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for position


How to pronounce position (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of position

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the place where someone or something is in relation to other people or things
: the place where someone or something should be
: the way someone stands, sits, or lies down



English Language Learners Definition of position (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (something or someone) in a particular position


po·​si·​tion | \ pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce position (audio) \

Kids Definition of position

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the way in which something or someone is placed or arranged The seat is in the upright position.
2 : a way of looking at or considering things What's your position on the issue?
3 : the place where a person or thing is or should be They took their positions on stage.
4 : the situation that someone or something is in Your request puts me in an awkward position.
5 : the rank or role a person has in an organization or in society She rose to a position of leadership.


positioned; positioning

Kids Definition of position (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put in a particular place or arrangement He positioned the helmet on his head.


po·​si·​tion | \ pə-ˈzish-ən How to pronounce position (audio) \

Medical Definition of position

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a particular arrangement or location specifically : an arrangement of the parts of the body considered particularly desirable for some medical or surgical procedure knee-chest position the prone position

Other Words from position

positional \ pə-​ˈzish-​ᵊn-​əl How to pronounce positional (audio) \ adjective

Medical Definition of position (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put in proper position

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on position

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!