prop·​o·​si·​tion | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈzi-shən \

Definition of proposition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : something offered for consideration or acceptance : proposal
(2) : a request for sexual intercourse
b : the point to be discussed or maintained in argument usually stated in sentence form near the outset
c : a theorem or problem to be demonstrated or performed
2a : an expression in language or signs of something that can be believed, doubted, or denied or is either true or false
b : the objective meaning of a proposition
3 : something of an indicated kind to be dealt with the farm was never a paying proposition


propositioned; propositioning\ ˌprä-​pə-​ˈzi-​sh(ə-​)niŋ \

Definition of proposition (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a proposal to especially : to suggest sexual intercourse to

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Other Words from proposition


propositional \ ˌprä-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for proposition

Synonyms: Noun

hypothesis, supposition, theory, thesis

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Examples of proposition in a Sentence


He made an attractive business proposition. The other company rejected their proposition. Her theory rejects the basic proposition that humans evolved from apes. If we accept proposition “A” as true, then we must accept proposition “B” as false. The election will be a tough proposition for the mayor.


He was propositioned by a prostitute. He got drunk and propositioned a woman sitting next to him in the bar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Otherwise, keeping the lights on in California will be an increasingly pricey proposition and an unacceptably risky one for private companies. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "How to Keep the Lights on in California," 9 Jan. 2019 Phalanx would need to be integrated with a new radar/sensor system to cope with the threat, and protecting a major airport like Gatwick would be an expensive proposition. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 An expensive proposition, but also a one-time cost. Dan Sweeney,, "Build sea walls and jetties, plant mangroves — readers share their alternatives to piling sand on beaches," 11 June 2018 Come January, Netflix is making that proposition even more appealing, upping its queue with over 30 Netflix Originals and Netflix Movies. Vogue, "Here’s What to Watch on Netflix in January," 17 Dec. 2018 Previous Encounter: Group Stage, World Cup 2002 Japan held Belgium to a thrilling 2-2 draw in 2002 - though the current Belgian side are a very different proposition from the 2002 side, and Japan were the co-hosts in that year., "World Cup Preview: Belgium vs Japan - Recent Form, Team News, Previous Encounter & More," 1 July 2018 Depending on the kid (or kid-at-heart), that proposition may very well be worth $80 of fun! Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Nintendo Labo tests, part one: Robot Kit’s cardboard stomps are fun but shallow," 13 May 2018 That last proposition comes from President Trump’s new budget. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Wants to Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes," 13 Feb. 2018 And battery swapping is a serious proposition here, with Nio offering three-minute battery swaps. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "Nio ES8: An Electric SUV from NextEV," 2 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Others said they were repeatedly propositioned or touched inappropriately. Ellen Barry, The Seattle Times, "‘Shocking and abhorrent’ abuse rampant in U.K. Parliament, report says," 15 Oct. 2018 Emergency supplies could also be propositioned at the station. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Maybe NASA's Next Space Station Doesn't Need the Astronauts," 6 Sep. 2018 In one of those, a student had reported that Manweller invited her to a bar in 2006 and propositioned her and a friend to have a threesome, according to records. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Central Washington University fires Rep. Matt Manweller over alleged inappropriate conduct," 14 Aug. 2018 Prosecutors said Augello propositioned a number of people connected with the Pagans for the killing. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "A doctor’s wife threatened to expose the opioid ring he ran, so he killed her, officials said.," 10 Jan. 2018 Undercover officers visited all the spas over the course of two days, and Guenther said a masseuse at Gem Spa, 1448 Butterfield Road, propositioned an officer during a June 14 session. Rick Kambic,, "Mundelein masseuse charged with prostitution," 22 June 2018 Lively’s job was to seduce the girls and then proposition them for a prostitution ring. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "True crime: The 'dresser drawer murder' at the Claypool Hotel," 13 July 2018 On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work. Blake Bakkila,, "Lena Dunham Gained 24 Pounds—and Is Happier Than Ever," 10 July 2018 Titus tells Kimmy how, as viewers saw in an earlier season, he was propositioned by a Sesame Street puppeteer, or rather, by the man's puppet. Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter, "Inside 'Kimmy Schmidt's' Sexual Harassment Storyline," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proposition.' 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 proposition


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1922, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proposition

The first known use of proposition was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of proposition

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something (such as a plan or offer) that is presented to a person or group of people to consider

: a statement to be proved, explained, or discussed

: something that someone intends to do or deal with



English Language Learners Definition of proposition (Entry 2 of 2)

: to offer to have sex with (someone) in a direct and often offensive way


prop·​o·​si·​tion | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈzi-shən \

Kids Definition of proposition

1 : something suggested for discussion and thought
2 : a statement to be proved, explained, or discussed

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Comments on proposition

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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