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 The only difference now is that the Covid economy has put a new and expanding group of people in the impossible position of picking one of several bad options, then punishing them for making the wrong choice. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "The Impossible Math of the Pandemic," 7 July 2020 In the filing, the three say the federal government is putting them in the untenable position of risking their lives by traveling to Indiana for the execution while coronavirus cases surge nationwide. Washington Post, "Family members of victims request delay in inmate’s execution, citing virus fears," 7 July 2020 The Oakland A’s scrapped their first workout for position players Sunday and two teams, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, canceled full-squad workouts Monday because of delays with testing results. John Fay, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Reds notes: No coronavirus testing issues, according to manager David Bell," 6 July 2020 Sunday, the Oakland Athletics cancelled their first full-squad workout because position players' samples had not even been shipped to the Salt Lake City lab MLB contracted with to process test samples. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Nationals, Astros cancel workouts as COVID-19 testing failures affect at least four MLB teams," 6 July 2020 Diekman, like the rest of the A’s and team officials, is furious about the fact that Oakland’s first two workouts with position players have been affected while most other clubs have had their full squads in action since at least Friday. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "A’s at-risk reliever Jake Diekman blasts delays with MLB test results," 6 July 2020 In traditional Indian society, older people have always occupied a position of reverence. Reshmi Chakraborty, CNN, "These senior Indian couples found love again. Not everyone is happy about it," 5 July 2020 Miguel Cabrera, too Cabrera emerged on the field with a few other position players, including center fielder JaCoby Jones and outfielder Christin Stewart. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' opening summer camp workout: 5 observations," 3 July 2020 But depth, both among position players and bullpen arms is a question. Dallas News, "What’s next for MLB? Evan Grant answers questions about a season unlike any other and what it means for the Rangers," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To blind-bake a pie crust, position a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Allison Robicelli, Washington Post, "It took years of searching (and some terrible slices) to get to a chocolate pie we all deserve," 3 July 2020 Observe how the moon changes shape and position each night. Dean Regas, The Enquirer, "This new book is a guide for you to explore the universe," 23 June 2020 To see it yourself Friday morning, make sure to position yourself with a clear view of the western part of the sky at moonset, which, for many Americans, will be quite early. Jay Cannon, USA TODAY, "Look out for the Strawberry Moon on Friday: Here's what it is and how to see it," 5 June 2020 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

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

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Position.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/position. Accessed 12 Jul. 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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