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 position (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 Walker was among a pool of candidates for the strength and conditioning position at South Carolina under new Coach Shane Beamer. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, "2 Razorback assistants to stay at Arkansas," 6 Jan. 2021 Many administration officials are eager to cement the hardline U.S. position with China on a number of fronts before Trump leaves office. NBC News, "Trump signs order banning transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay," 6 Jan. 2021 And from the Oval Office, President Biden will be in a prime position to help. Matthew Smith, Time, "Why Joe Biden Should Help the Rohingya People of Myanmar," 6 Jan. 2021 While the opponent is in man coverage and can account for Harris’ motion, the speed of the action puts the linebacker in a trailing position against a much faster player. cleveland, "Previewing the Ohio State-Alabama CFP Championship: Jimmies and Joes vs. X’s and O’s," 6 Jan. 2021 Still, players regretted not capitalizing on the field position. Emmanuel Morgan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Why the Rams red zone offense has been failing," 6 Jan. 2021 As the tactical squad was getting into position, some heard a single gunshot inside the house, police said. oregonlive, "55 homicides in Portland in 2020 -- the most in 26 years -- involved victims from 8 months old to 71," 5 Jan. 2021 First, hold your compass in a level position with the direction of the travel arrow pointing precisely at your landmark. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Basic Compass Skills Everyone Should Learn," 5 Jan. 2021 The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith could have left after a big junior season and competed with Ruggs and Jeudy for draft position. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Heisman Trophy Ceremony LIVE STREAM (01/05/21): Watch DeVonta Smith, Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Trask online | Time, TV, channel," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Goff opted to have the surgery to position himself to be ready for the playoff game. oregonlive, "Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff faces ‘challenging’ road to play against the Seattle Seahawks in Wild Card playoff: Report," 5 Jan. 2021 Drill one hole in the center of the log, and position the remaining holes 3 inches on-center to the left and right of the center hole. Finish the candlestick with two coats of spray polyurethane. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Don't Toss That X-Mas Tree: Let's Make Something Instead," 26 Dec. 2020 Tarik Cohen waved his right arm in the air, took a few strides to position himself under the falling football and made the fair catch. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "Two injuries, a released veteran and COVID-19: A look at the Chicago Bears’ fraught search for a punt returner. ‘It is 2020. It just kind of goes with the year.’," 17 Dec. 2020 For starters, the 90-minute piece looks effortlessly striking because Weaver and Shaw position themselves perfectly within the frame, coming up with almost painterly compositions. New York Times, "A Theater Duo’s ‘Last Gasp’ Doesn’t Look Like the End," 29 Nov. 2020 The veteran passer, coming off a nearly two-year comeback after a gruesome leg injury, has helped stabilize the offense and position Washington to make a postseason push. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Thanksgiving NFL viewer's guide: Everything you need to know about Thursday's games," 26 Nov. 2020 Schoenstein says that efficiencies from those investments, plus relatively low fuel prices, should position CNR to do even better once other economic locomotives start gaining speed again. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The 21 best stocks to buy for 2021," 20 Nov. 2020 Neither Cole Winn nor Hans Crouse will pitch in the majors in 2021, but both should reach Double-A Frisco and position themselves to contend for rotation spots in 2022. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "After bets on Corey Kluber, veteran pitchers didn’t pay off, what’s next for Rangers’ starting rotation in 2021?," 18 Nov. 2020 Stocks surged this week as investors around the country angled to position for the outcome of the 2020 elections, a blockbuster stretch that has put major indexes on track for the best week since April. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Stocks Poised for Best Week Since April," 6 Nov. 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

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Position.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/position. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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 position (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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