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 statement, GM also said the offer made to the union on Saturday included more than $7 billion in U.S. factory investments and the creation of 5,400 new positions, a minority of which would be filled by existing employees. Tom Krisher, Twin Cities, "Union votes to strike at General Motors’ US plants," 15 Sep. 2019 Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, resigned from his position earlier this month after it was revealed the lab had received $1.2 million from Epstein for outside investment funds that Ito controlled. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Stanford reveals it received $50,000 gift from Jeffrey Epstein," 14 Sep. 2019 Your problem with the credit card companies is usury rates, from your position. NBC News, "Biden and Warren had a long history of squabbles before 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Mark Lichte recently submitted a letter resigning from his position as superintendent of the Lake Country School District, but later changed his mind. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lake Country Schools superintendent submitted letter of resignation during investigation, then rescinded it," 12 Sep. 2019 Abolishing private prisons has evolved over the past decade from a fringe position to a rallying cry for liberals. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Legislature votes to ban private prisons, sends bill to Newsom," 11 Sep. 2019 Tight ends: There has been limited production from this position so far this season, when much was expected from this group, particularly senior Noah Togiai. oregonlive, "Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith says second-half offense not about play-calling, but details, route-running, and catching the ball," 10 Sep. 2019 LaJoie gained 11 spots from his qualifying position to finish a very respectable 19th. Rob Peeters, Indianapolis Star, "Brickyard 400 one-liners: Single sentence reviews of all 40 drivers who raced Sunday," 8 Sep. 2019 Thomas led the Owls with 2.8 digs per set from the libero position. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Fall Sports Previews: 3 things to know for volleyball in 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Commissioning is a delicate dance, in general, where artists try to position themselves as having creative control and buyers pretend to be at their mercy. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "By peeing in a bottle and snacking one-handed, this teenage artist drew in a continuous line for 24 hours," 10 Sep. 2019 Rather than trying to position a single tube at each location where it was needed, the researchers made a silicon surface with metallic features that were large enough to guarantee several nanotubes would typically bridge the gaps between the metal. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "16-bit RISC-V processor made with carbon nanotubes," 28 Aug. 2019 The country remains poor, but Kagame’s government is trying to position it as something exceptional in Africa–a place to do business. Karl Vick, Time, "Is Rwanda's Paul Kagame a Strongman, a Technocrat, or Something in Between?," 27 June 2019 Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota Grade: D+ Klobuchar has positioned herself as the other moderate besides Biden — not a bad place if Biden falters. BostonGlobe.com, "Former vice president Joe Biden," 13 Sep. 2019 In the first two debates, Klobuchar positioned herself as a moderate but did not take specific swipes at her more progressive counterparts. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "Klobuchar slams ‘Medicare-for-all,’ defends her prosecutor record," 12 Sep. 2019 Over the last decade China has positioned itself as a global leader on climate action through aggressive investments and a bold mix of climate, renewable energy, energy efficiency and economic policies. Fang Zhang, The Conversation, "China is positioned to lead on climate change as the US rolls back its policies," 12 Sep. 2019 Like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show before it, the Savage X Fenty show is positioning itself as a special, live event for celebrity and media attendees that will air later to the general public. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Rihanna Keeps Reinventing the Lingerie Fashion Show with Savage X Fenty," 11 Sep. 2019 At the time, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi positioned the restructuring as an effort to make operations more efficient. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Uber is laying off hundreds of staffers, again," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for position

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for position

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

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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

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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