pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio) \

Definition of posture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture
b : the pose of a model or artistic figure
2 : state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances maintain a competitive posture in the market
3 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude


postured; posturing

Definition of posture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to assume a given posture : pose

intransitive verb

1 : to assume a posture especially : to strike a pose for effect
2 : to assume an artificial or pretended attitude : attitudinize

Other Words from posture


posturer \ ˈpäs-​chər-​ər How to pronounce posture (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for posture

Synonyms: Noun

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The Latin verb ponere, meaning "to put" or "to place," had a role in putting quite a few English terms into place, including component, dispose, expose, impose, oppose, posit, position, positive, postpone, and, yes, posture. The past participle of ponerepositus—gave Latin the noun positura, which has the same meaning as the English noun posture. Positura passed through Italian and Middle French and was finally adopted by English speakers as posture in the late 16th century. The verb posture later developed from the noun, finding its place in English at around the midpoint of the 17th century.

Examples of posture in a Sentence

Noun Human beings have an upright posture. a good upright posture will prevent backaches
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our new religious posture is this: Don’t mess with us. Patt Morrisoncolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022 As the organization Global Zero has made clear in its alternative nuclear posture review, the United States can dissuade any nation from attacking it with nuclear weapons with a substantially smaller nuclear arsenal. William Hartung, Forbes, 16 May 2022 But Popov went on to accuse the West of threatening Russia with its comments about wanting to see the country weakened, though the U.S.'s posture has been in the context of getting Putin to stop the war on Ukraine. Amy Kellogg, Fox News, 5 May 2022 WhatsApp’s aggressive posture was unusual among big technology companies, which are often reluctant to call attention to instances in which their systems have been compromised. Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 The United States’ posture on land mines is that anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines serve complementary functions, and are most effective when used together. Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2022 Bad posture is one of the main reasons for back problems. Ebony Williams, ajc, 7 Apr. 2022 However, if their swaggering posture was uncertain, their fashion sense was exuberantly their own. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 The posture of the Biden administration by all appearances is one of wishful thinking: that while the United States and the world have rightly taken a side in this conflict, the fighting is going to stay in Ukraine. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 11 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While the Bears may posture about the importance of winning games in 2022, their behavior since the arrival of General Manager Ryan Poles telegraphs his plan to build a new team around quarterback Justin Fields, essentially from the ground up. Phil Rogers, Forbes, 28 May 2022 All the while, one got the nagging sense that Cherry—unlike more modern populists who posture as spokespeople for some silent majority because doing so is politically expedient—wasn’t faking it. John Semley, Harper’s Magazine , 7 Dec. 2021 Crude prices, which have run up recently, extended their gains early Wednesday before drooping in the afternoon, as traders continued to posture themselves ahead of higher demand stemming from the global economic recovery and summertime travel. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 16 June 2021 This was the pre-Covid posture the Trump administration quickly adopted, turning almost anything connected to China into a political punching bag. Andy Meek, BGR, 4 June 2021 While both sides had to posture for domestic audiences, particularly the rising nationalist fervor of Xi Jinping, China's increasingly authoritarian leader, the grievances at the heart of the dispute are longstanding. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 19 Mar. 2021 Gale was not an overtly menacing physical presence onstage, in the way many metal frontmen try to posture. Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2021 Help your back and posture by raising your computer screen up to eye level. Medea Giordano, Wired, 19 Sep. 2020 The latter will be put to a jury, which means that both sides can be expected to posture when explaining Hollywood economics to regular citizens. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Aug. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'posture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of posture


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1645, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for posture


Middle French, from Italian postura, from Latin positura, from positus, past participle of ponere to place — more at position

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The first known use of posture was circa 1586

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Posture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for posture


pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio) \

Kids Definition of posture

: the way in which the body is positioned when sitting or standing : the general way of holding the body an upright posture a humble posture


pos·​ture | \ ˈpäs-chər How to pronounce posture (audio) \

Medical Definition of posture

1 : the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture
2 : a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude

More from Merriam-Webster on posture

Nglish: Translation of posture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of posture for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about posture


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