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

Definition of preposterous 

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

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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

And then there is the fact that the fact seems preposterous. Jonathan Wilson,, "Gareth Southgate Makes Own Luck in Guiding England to World Cup Semifinals," 10 July 2018 At first blush that seems a preposterous suggestion. The Economist, "Germany is becoming more open and diverse," 14 Apr. 2018 Some of them hold the preposterous position that new sanctions could force Iran to return to the negotiating table to discuss amendments of the nuclear deal. Fred Fleitz, National Review, "Trump Should Kill the Iran Nuclear Deal, for the Dissidents and Protesters," 8 Jan. 2018 But if the speculation is correct, another preposterous development in the era of 45 will have occurred and Trump, aided by his White House lawyers, will have put one over on the supposedly independent judicial branch. Elizabeth Drew, The New Republic, "Follies," 27 Apr. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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The first known use of preposterous was in 1533

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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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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