po·​si·​tion·​al | \ pə-ˈzi-sh(ə-)nəl How to pronounce positional (audio) \

Definition of positional

1 : of, relating to, or fixed by position positional astronomy
2 : involving little movement positional warfare
3 : dependent on position or environment or context the front-articulated \k\ in \kē\ key and the back-articulated \k\ in \kül\ cool are positional variants

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from positional

positionally adverb

Examples of positional in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The department must train officers on the dangers of positional asphyxia. NBC News, "Her son was killed by police. Then she won the right to teach new cops.," 14 June 2020 The potential for death from positional asphyxiation has been well documented for more than 20 years and many studies cite EDS as an additional risk factor. Katie Wedell And Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "'Excited delirium' cited as factor in many fatal police restraint cases. Some say it's bogus.," 14 June 2020 The 44-year-old died of positional asphyxia after two officers tackled him to the ground, put leg shackles on him and put his arms behind his back, according to court records. USA Today, "George Floyd's not alone. 'I can’t breathe' uttered by dozens in fatal police holds across U.S.," 13 June 2020 Nunes, however, executed a pinpoint trip, then spent the remainder of the round winning the positional battle on the ground and landing elbows that cut Spencer open. Mma Junkie, azcentral, "UFC 250 results: Amanda Nunes mauls Felicia Spencer," 6 June 2020 The Pistons have several positional needs to address this offseason and could have their highest draft pick since 2003. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons reportedly must wait until Aug. 25 for NBA draft lottery, Oct. 15 for draft," 4 June 2020 The county coroner attributed Jones’ death to heart problems related to a violent struggle and positional asphyxia. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "How Roger Owensby Jr.'s death in police custody decades ago led to change in Cincinnati," 2 June 2020 The report conflicts with a 2018 medical assessment, requested by the family and carried out by four doctors, which found that Traoré likely died of positional asphyxia induced by the gendarmes' restraint method. Tara John, Melissa Bell And Barbara Wojazer, CNN, "'They died in the exact same way'," 4 June 2020 Another 'positional asphyxiation' Three years later, in November 2003, Nathaniel Jones died while handcuffed. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "How Roger Owensby Jr.'s death in police custody decades ago led to change in Cincinnati," 2 June 2020

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

circa 1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about positional

Time Traveler for positional

Time Traveler

The first known use of positional was circa 1560

See more words from the same year

Statistics for positional

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Positional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/positional. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for positional


How to pronounce positional (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of positional

: relating to the position of someone or something

More from Merriam-Webster on positional

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with positional

Comments on positional

What made you want to look up positional? 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?

Dictionary Devil

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!