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 Biden campaign’s position is that the next president should fill the current vacancy. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "No, Joe Biden Doesn’t Have to Answer Your Court-Packing Question," 9 Oct. 2020 The future Lady Bear will most likely play the center back position at Baylor but is also flexible in playing defensive midfielder. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Baylor commit Lorelai Stramrood discusses experience as Tomball Memorial's first female football player," 9 Oct. 2020 After going ahead 24-7 in the second quarter, Tulane went three consecutive series without throwing a pass while saddled with poor field position. G Smith, NOLA.com, "Injury to Tulane left tackle Joey Claybrook contributes to Green Wave's troubles in loss at Houston," 9 Oct. 2020 Retaliatory court expansion is not a popular position. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Biden court-packing dodge creates opening for Republicans to woo voters," 9 Oct. 2020 The county sheriff can have a major role in how to police, with former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio serving as an example of the impact that position can have on the populace. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "If you want to contact the government about a problem, you need to know who's in control. Here's a guide," 9 Oct. 2020 With so much roster upheaval, the Marlins were forced to play a number of their talented young position players. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "What’s next for the Marlins? Three storylines to watch after surprising playoff run.," 9 Oct. 2020 Remaining tipped workers, who make a minimum cash wage of $3.63 in Maryland, are in an especially precarious position, Goger says. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "From head chef to accountant: Baltimore area’s restaurant workers weigh switching careers amid pandemic," 9 Oct. 2020 Edinburgh Woollen Mill is in a particularly tough position because many of its stores are in the north of Britain, where restrictions have been tightened more than elsewhere. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Another 24,000 retail jobs at risk as UK fashion group faces collapse," 9 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Learning Joe Moorhead’s offense to be prepared as a backup is the immediate task, but Butterfield can position himself early to be the next starter even if that might be a way’s off. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks fall camp position breakdown: Quarterbacks," 28 Sep. 2020 That could position Russian forces as a pincer on either side of the 60-mile Polish-Lithuanian border, which is the only land route between the Baltic states and the rest of North Atlantic Treaty Organization territory. James Marson, WSJ, "Russia’s Embrace of Lukashenko Puts the West on Alert," 28 Sep. 2020 But McCarthy blew an opportunity to position his team for a Week 1 victory, on the road, because of questionable decision-making in the fourth quarter. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "NFL's best, worst debuts of Week 1: Philip Rivers gives off warning signs for Colts," 15 Sep. 2020 The presentation, sponsored by The San Diego Union-Tribune, will discuss how banks make lending decisions, what loan programs are available to small businesses, and how to best position yourself to obtain financing. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County Business Briefs, Aug. 27," 27 Aug. 2020 And that meant that when Trump won in November, the type of top government job that Mnuchin’s old Goldman colleagues spent decades of fund-raising and networking to position themselves for was now, after six months of work, his for the asking. Jason Zengerle, New York Times, "Steven Mnuchin’s Deal Staved Off Catastrophe. Can He Make Another One?," 29 Sep. 2020 The Sooners have a lot of work to do to position themselves for the playoff, especially with the Big Ten and Pac-12 now back in the game. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Subpar September puts Big 12 in jeopardy of missing College Football Playoff for first time in four years," 27 Sep. 2020 And there's some significant meetings in the Group of Five as those schools position themselves for a potential New Year's Six bowl game. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Five questions that need answering ahead of Week 4 in college football," 24 Sep. 2020 Kohler, on the other hand, sought to position himself as the candidate who would best be able to hit the ground running if elected, pointing to his years of involvement in politics and his personal relationships on Capitol Hill. Taylor Stevens, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Candidates running for Wasatch County House seat criticize Legislature’s passage of the bill that kicked off Hideout controversy," 23 Sep. 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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

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