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

Spacious is part of a broader debate over how to use spaces in cities as people increasingly buy items online instead of in stores and as labor costs make restaurants an even more challenging proposition. Nellie Bowles, The Seattle Times, "Sorry, power-lunchers — these tables are reserved for drop-in workers," 9 July 2018 Two years ago today, a studio called Niantic released a game with a novel proposition: Go outside. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Quiet, Steady Dominance of Pokémon Go," 6 July 2018 But reaching the last four looked an increasingly unlikely proposition. Rob Harris, Fox News, "Belgium eliminates Brazil from World Cup to reach semifinals," 6 July 2018 The breakdown went like this: Two-thirds of Republicans said teachers should be allowed to strike, while three-quarters of independents and nearly nine-tenths of Democrats agreed with that proposition. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "New polls find most Americans say teachers are underpaid — and many would pay higher taxes to fix it," 1 June 2018 The months before the next election will make clear how many Indonesians take issue with the proposition. The Economist, "Indonesia’s president is neither a grubby politician nor a diehard reformer," 10 May 2018 Sports have always been a more demotic proposition. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "Don’t Take Me Out to the Ballgame—I Can’t Afford It," 12 July 2018 To hold out for the second half of the season, only to test the underwhelming trade market again this winter, is a risky proposition. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers might be wise to trade Michael Fulmer. Here's why," 3 July 2018 In places like Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Tempe, Arizona, that's a year-round proposition. Megan Henry, Indianapolis Star, "Hundreds of electric scooters invade downtown Indianapolis; some rejoice, others scratch their heads," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 For instance, the trailer shows Ms. McCarthy being propositioned by male and female puppet prostitutes. Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Makers of ‘Sesame Street’ Sue to Get Raunchy Puppet Movie to Change Its Advertising," 26 May 2018 Dawn’s professor in her computer science graduate program propositioned her. Aya De Leon, The Root, "The Takedown," 22 Apr. 2018 Jeff Boogaard, a history and government teacher at a southern New Jersey high school was propositioned by a student to prompose in his class last year. Allie Volpe, Teen Vogue, "Have Promposals Gotten Too Extra?," 24 Apr. 2018 Alisha didn’t sleep with Tim, who propositioned his employee, and was never forced to., "Why Is No One Talking About Scandal's Big #MeToo Moment?," 19 Mar. 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

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proposition

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

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More Definitions for proposition



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 make amends

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