pre·pos·ter·ous | \ pri-ˈpä-st(ə-)rəs \

Definition of preposterous 

: contrary to nature, reason, or common sense : absurd

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from preposterous

preposterously adverb
preposterousness noun

Examples of preposterous in a Sentence

The whole idea is preposterous! the idea that extraterrestrials built the pyramids is preposterous

Recent Examples on the Web

Two decades ago, The Truman Show seemed preposterous. Julie Miller, HWD, "Twenty Years Later, Everything Is The Truman Show," 5 June 2018 Even more preposterous is the claim by some academics that economic liberalism in the 1980s spawned the socialism that has destroyed the country. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Venezuela’s Long Road to Hell," 10 June 2018 The problem with the very raising of these supposedly legal points is that the preposterous has become the discussable. Elizabeth Drew, The New Republic, "Trump’s Saturday Night Massacre Has Already Begun," 5 June 2018 Hodge’s direction employs some theatrical gestures (mostly from Summerfield and Reed), which appear all the more preposterous given those actors ages and otherwise more straightforward delivery of their lines. Jim Rutter,, "At Hedgerow: 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (and, for this play, being youngish)," 6 May 2018 Those plotlines tended to feel like overwrought filler material, getting Scandal away from the more relatable human elements that helped ground its more preposterous side. Tanisha C. Ford, The Atlantic, "The Episode That Captured the Best and Worst of Scandal," 19 Apr. 2018 Twain found this preposterous and ignored his daughter's accusation. Marie Lavendier,, "The Lioness And The King: Was Mark Twain's Secretary A Treasure? Or 'A Salacious Slut'?," 29 Apr. 2018 Even after making some sweeping changes that attempted to make golf rules more reasonable and adhering to common sense, there are still dozens of rules on the book that are preposterous and penal for no apparent reason. Chris Chase, For The Win, "13 incredibly bizarre rules in sports from dress codes to one-point safeties," 11 Apr. 2018 Mars One organizers say the project can be accomplished for roughly $6 billion; critics say that is preposterous, as is the plan to raise much of that money through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights. Billy Baker,, "As the other world turns: How a trip to Mars thwarted and ignited love," 19 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of preposterous

1533, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preposterous

Latin praeposterus, literally, in the wrong order, from prae- + posterus hinder, following — more at posterior

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preposterous

Share preposterous

Statistics for preposterous

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preposterous

The first known use of preposterous was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preposterous



English Language Learners Definition of preposterous

: very foolish or silly


pre·pos·ter·ous | \ pri-ˈpä-stə-rəs \

Kids Definition of preposterous

: making little or no sense : foolish a preposterous excuse

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on preposterous

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!