Did You Know?
Apposite and opposite sound so much alike that you would expect them to have a common ancestor—and they do. It is the Latin verb ponere, which means "to put or place." Adding the prefix ad- to ponere led to apponere, meaning "to place near" or "to apply to," and that branch of the ponere family tree budded apposite. The word is used to describe something that applies well to or is very appropriate for something else. To get opposite, the prefix ob- was added to ponere, and that combinition matured into opponere, meaning "to place against or opposite." The related Latin verb componere, meaning "to put together," gave us compound and composite.
Before sending the final draft of his novel to his editor, Lyle searched for an apposite quotation that could serve as the book's epigraph.
"He brings to the story a modern intelligence, a modern interest, as well as much apposite historical information. And the result is a refreshing, civilized book, a notable homage to its great original." — Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books, 1 Dec. 2005
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