su·​per·​im·​pose | \ ˌsü-pər-im-ˈpōz How to pronounce superimpose (audio) \
superimposed; superimposing; superimposes

Definition of superimpose

transitive verb

: to place or lay over or above something superimposed images

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Other Words from superimpose

superimposable \ ˌsü-​pər-​im-​ˈpō-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce superimposable (audio) \ adjective
superimposition \ ˌsü-​pər-​ˌim-​pə-​ˈzi-​shən How to pronounce superimposition (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Superimposition was one of the magical effects employed by early filmmakers. Using "mirror shots", with semitransparent mirrors set at 45° angles to the scene, they would superimpose shadowy images of ghosts or scenes from a character's past onto scenes from the present. Superimposing your own ideas on something, such as a historical event, has to be done carefully, since your ideas may change whenever you learn something new about the event.

Examples of superimpose in a Sentence

A triangle superimposed on an inverted triangle forms a six-pointed star.

Recent Examples on the Web

Aside from the surprisingly high price tag, the problem with the shirts is that the Jenners' faces, Instagrams and brand logo are superimposed over the artists' original album art. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall and Kylie Jenner Face Backlash Over Their Vintage T-Shirt Collection," 29 June 2017 The plane, first designed in the 1960s and modernized three times, is caked with successive generations of technology superimposed on each other. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "The Risks of Marrying ‘Smart’ Technology With ‘Dumb’ Machines," 22 Mar. 2019 Worldwide spending on virtual reality and augmented reality, which superimposes digital images onto a user’s view of the real world, is expected to reach nearly $20.4 billion this year, according to market intelligence firm International Data Corp. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Genentech Uses Virtual Reality to Train Eye Surgeons," 6 Feb. 2019 An image from the EUVI camera, which looks at the Sun, got flipped, rotated, and superimposed on an image from the HI1 camera, which looks at the stars. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Nope, That Weird Blue Sphere In Space Isn't Aliens," 21 Nov. 2016 Yuniku machines, which resemble an automated airport-security screener, create a virtual model of a customer’s head and can then superimpose thousands of frame styles and colors, personalized for size and position. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, "Design Your Frames: 3-D Printing Comes to Eyewear," 11 Nov. 2018 There are also questions about whether some members of the family have been superimposed into the image. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashian Christmas Card Features Several Major Photoshop Fails," 27 Dec. 2018 Anyone who follows Kylie on Instagram will be granted access to the special filter that includes Candy K, Dolce, Posie K, Say No More, Shady, Boy Bye, and Glitz lip shades superimposed onto your face.. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner Has Her Own Instagram Filter and It’s Totally Fire," 1 Aug. 2018 Artistic impression of the Mars Express spacecraft probing the southern hemisphere of Mars,superimposed to a color mosaic of a portion of Planum Australe. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Underground Lake of Liquid Water Detected on Mars," 25 July 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for superimpose

Last Updated

30 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for superimpose

The first known use of superimpose was in 1611

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More Definitions for superimpose



English Language Learners Definition of superimpose

: to place or lay (something) over something else

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More from Merriam-Webster on superimpose

Spanish Central: Translation of superimpose

Nglish: Translation of superimpose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of superimpose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on superimpose

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


to take the place or position of

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