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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a conference call with reporters, Suryadevara said GM remains bullish about its position in China. David Welch, Bloomberg.com, "GM Sees New Cash-Cow SUVs Helping Overcome Weak Auto Markets," 6 May 2020 If Eugenio Suárez wasn’t ready for Opening Day on March 26, the Reds were prepared to shift Mike Moustakas to his typical position and fill second base with Derek Dietrich, Kyle Farmer or Josh VanMeter. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds confident pitching, offensive depth would be strength in shortened season," 5 May 2020 Instead of buying, Buffett offloaded his massive position in airline companies, including in United, American, Southwest, and Delta Airlines—companies that contributed to Berkshire Hathaway’s record $49.8 billion first-quarter net loss. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Some are investing in the coronavirus. Warren Buffett isn’t," 4 May 2020 The idea is to pick out a few specific pieces and map their position in each frame of the video. Rhett Allain, Wired, "How Much Energy Does It Take to Blow Up a Planet?," 4 May 2020 My personal opinion had nothing to do with the city, or my position on the planning commission. Tara Law, Time, "California City Official Ousted After Saying COVID-19 Could 'Fix' Burdens on Society If Allowed to Spread," 3 May 2020 The President has changed his position on the issue often and opportunistically. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Is America’s “One Nation Indivisible” Being Killed Off by the Coronavirus?," 2 May 2020 Williams, first elected to Congress in 2012, often cites his experience as a small business owner in explaining his positions on various issues before Congress. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Car dealership owned by Texas Rep. Roger Williams received loan through coronavirus relief fund for small businesses," 1 May 2020 Before the crash, Loomis noted, the American labor movement had been nearly crushed—not too far off from its precarious position today. Sarah Jaffe, The New Republic, "The Post-Pandemic Future of Work," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The acquisition positioned the company as the second biggest electricity supplier in Britain. Rachel Morison, Bloomberg.com, "Ovo Plans to Cut 2,600 Workers as Online Replaces Human Jobs," 19 May 2020 Future clearly never positioned himself as role-model material, considering that his biggest hit to date conjured up a classic chorus from the words molly and Percocet. Gary Suarez, EW.com, "Future stays in his narcotized comfort zone on High Off Life," 19 May 2020 Eastman had positioned herself as a progressive, while Ashford pitched herself as a moderate. Grant Schulte, Anchorage Daily News, "Nebraska primary voters avoid polls, shatter mail-in record," 13 May 2020 Eastman has positioned herself as a progressive, while Ashford pitches herself as a moderate. CBS News, "Nebraska holds nation's first in-person election in weeks amid coronavirus pandemic," 12 May 2020 Eastman has positioned herself as a progressive, while Ashford pitches herself as a moderate. Time, "Nebraska Holds First In-Person Primary in Weeks Amid Coronavirus Pandemic," 12 May 2020 The Spurs had positioned themselves as the NBA’s model franchise and were one season removed from claiming the title in 2014. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Top 10 Spurs moments: No. 9 — The LaMarcus Aldridge signing," 29 Apr. 2020 Leaning on the story, Saltz usually positions himself as a populist. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "When Art Becomes Self-Help," 24 Apr. 2020 One guy out there has profitably positioned himself as the meta-expert, the expert on expertise who expertly informs us of what the experts are saying over at the Experts’ Club. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Experts Lied to Us about Masks," 8 Apr. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for position

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for position

Last Updated

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Position.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/position. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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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

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Comments on position

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