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

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Other Words from posture


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

Synonyms for posture

Synonyms: Noun

attitude, carriage, poise, stance, station

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Examples of posture in a Sentence


Human beings have an upright posture. a good upright posture will prevent backaches

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After knocking on an apartment door, Relyea found Arbitelle standing behind it, tensing his arms and standing in what the officer described as an aggressive posture. Nicholas Rondinone,, "Danbury officer, under investigation for police shooting this month, cleared in deadly 2018 shooting," 12 July 2019 The unexpected action was a strong signal that the administration of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to take a more aggressive posture toward Metro on its financial performance and governance. Robert Mccartney, Washington Post, "Maryland withholds $55.6 million from Metro, citing ‘stonewalling’ on audits," 1 July 2019 This increasingly aggressive posture appears to be following a predetermined schedule. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "President Trump Is Taking Control of the Mueller Probe in Slices," 29 May 2018 In the wake of a teen death from vaping, health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are taking an anti-vaping posture. Michael Siegel, National Review, "CDC’s Bias Against E-Cigarettes Is Putting Kids’ Lives at Risk," 27 Aug. 2019 Often, what the audience finds funniest is the robot’s stiff posture and strange chuckle. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "You Are Already Having Sex With Robots," 23 Aug. 2019 But Trump’s language (or lack thereof) has given the Chinese government a green light to take a more aggressive posture. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Happens Next in the Hong Kong Protests," 16 Aug. 2019 Conservatives were also encouraging him to take a more aggressive posture. David G. Savage,, "Citizen question may be back on 2020 census as Trump administration reverses course again," 3 July 2019 More recently, Trump advisors have signaled a more aggressive posture. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid," 17 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When Akhmedov postures up for a big attempt, Cummings slips out and returns to his feet. Todd Martin, Los Angeles Times, "UFC 242 live updates: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier," 7 Sep. 2019 There’s also the suggestion that the Trump administration’s posturing over the value of the yuan is really a ploy in the president’s long-running battle with Jerome Powell, the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank. Ishaan Tharoor, The Denver Post, "Tharoor: Trump and Xi lock horns — and drag the world with them," 8 Aug. 2019 Lagarde may have merely been posturing to the ECB’s many critics from the North, but her words lifted bank stocks and the euro in mid-day trading. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Deutsche Bank’s CEO Takes on the European Central Bank: ‘Negative Rates Ruin the Financial System’," 4 Sep. 2019 But the proposal is a political statement — de Blasio, who has postured himself as an unabashed progressive throughout his political career, is coming for the wealthy. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Bill de Blasio’s new plan to “tax the hell” out of rich people, explained," 1 Aug. 2019 That back-and-forth posturing, in a series of recent letters obtained by The Denver Post, bodes poorly for DIA’s relationship with Great Hall Partners. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Denver airport and Great Hall contractor escalate public battle as mediation stalls," 9 Aug. 2019 Now, a lot of those rumors that go around could be posturing a little bit. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "'We’re guilty of it ourselves': MLB players can't tune out trade deadline rumors," 22 July 2019 Democratic candidates, posturing for advantage and jostling one another leftward, are testing the idea of making reparations for slavery an active issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The Danger of Debating Reparations for Slavery," 2 May 2019 There’s every chance Deep Silver planned a $10 launch discount on Steam as well, and the Epic Games Store decampment just gives them a chance to posture on a larger stage. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Metro Exodus is skipping Steam for the Epic Games Store, and passing the savings on to you," 28 Jan. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for posture

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for posture

The first known use of posture was circa 1586

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More Definitions for posture



English Language Learners Definition of posture

: the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing
formal : the attitude a person or group has toward a subject


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

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