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

This project is a more complicated proposition than an assembly-line robot and is, it must be said, behind schedule. The Economist, "The rise of the robochef," 12 July 2018 Solid Gold scored uniformly well, turning a low-alcohol lager into a far bolder proposition than the panel expected. Josh Noel,, "Can craft brewers make good light beer? Our tasting pits them against Bud, Miller, Coors, more," 12 July 2018 Spelunking in Southern Indiana Spelunking was once a risky proposition. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the retail price for tickets, the company is in a losing proposition often from the first film a subscriber goes to. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "MoviePass Adds Peak Pricing Surcharge to Its Subscription Movie Theater Service," 5 July 2018 But now the agency has presented a final proposition: Accept a one-way plane ticket back to the island by July 1, or find housing another way. Aaron Leibowitz, miamiherald, "Displaced Puerto Ricans can fly home or stay in Florida with no FEMA housing. They're staying.," 30 June 2018 Barbra Neumann said her daughter told her about Llanas' proposition in confidence. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "BoDeans' Kurt Neumann, stepdaughter accuse former band member Sam Llanas of molestation," 11 June 2018 It’s named because there are three ways for a result in this proposition: win, lose or draw. Ed Barkowitz,, "Atlantic City bookies offer odds and props for Sunday's World Cup final between France and Croatia," 13 July 2018 This is such a sure bet, barring injury, that the possibility of their being paired together – a disastrous losing proposition when attempted at the 2004 Ryder Cup – came up Monday on Golf Channel. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Tiger, Phil deserve another shot at Ryder Cup even if rankings say otherwise," 27 June 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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Statistics for proposition

Last Updated

8 Nov 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).


noxious or harmful

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