op·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce opposition (audio) \

Definition of opposition

1 : a configuration (see configuration sense 1b) in which one celestial (see celestial entry 1 sense 2) body is opposite another (such as the sun) in the sky or in which the elongation (see elongation sense 1) is near or equal to 180 degrees
2 : the relation between two propositions having the same subject and predicate but differing in quantity or quality or both
3 : an act of setting opposite or over against : the condition of being so set He spoke in opposition to the new law.
4 : hostile or contrary action or condition offered strong opposition to the advance of the enemy
5a : something that opposes specifically : a body of persons opposing something Each candidate is focused on raising more money than the opposition.
b often capitalized : a political party opposing and prepared to replace the party in power The opposition is likely to win the upcoming election.

Other Words from opposition

oppositional \ ˌä-​pə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce opposition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for opposition



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Examples of opposition in a Sentence

They're going ahead with the plans despite strong opposition from residents. The nominee faces strong opposition in the Senate. The proposed change has met with opposition from the town's business leaders. Rebels have so far offered little opposition to advancing troops. Each candidate is focused on raising more money than the opposition. The coach advised her team not to underestimate the opposition. The leader of the Opposition criticized the prime minister for his comments.
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Recent Examples on the Web Greece's main opposition party, Syriza, said the measure is punitive and financially excessive. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 30 Nov. 2021 The former first lady is making her third bid for the presidency and is the only one of 13 opposition candidates with a chance to beat Hernández’s handpicked successor, Nasry Asfura, a folksy Tegucigalpa mayor. Christopher Sherman, ajc, 28 Nov. 2021 Major opposition figures were also barred from running for elections. Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2021 Some opposition leaders boycotted the vote, as most of them did in other recent elections. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Roh Tae-woo, Chun’s army colleague who assisted during his coup, won the 1987 election, largely thanks to a vote split among liberal opposition candidates. NBC News, 23 Nov. 2021 Roh Tae-woo, Chun’s army colleague who assisted during his coup, won the 1987 election, largely thanks to a vote split among liberal opposition candidates. Hyung-jin Kim, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Nov. 2021 In May 1980, months into his dictatorship , Chun declared full martial law, arrested opposition figures and student leaders and shut down the National Assembly. Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 In recent years, the council has disqualified parties and some of the most popular opposition candidates. The Associated. Press, Arkansas Online, 22 Nov. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opposition

Middle English opposicioun "location opposite something, contrary opinion, opposition of celestial bodies," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French oposicion (Anglo-French opposicion "objection, questioning"), borrowed from Medieval Latin oppositiōn-, oppositiō, going back to Late Latin, "contradiction, antithesis" (loan translation of Greek antíthesis), from Latin opposi-, variant stem of oppōnere "to place (over or against), place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at oppose

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Time Traveler for opposition

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

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Dictionary Entries Near opposition



oppositional defiant disorder

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposition. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for opposition



English Language Learners Definition of opposition

: actions or opinions that show that you disagree with or disapprove of someone or something
: action that is done to stop or defeat someone or something
: a person or group that you are trying to defeat or succeed against : a person or group that you are competing with


op·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce opposition (audio) \

Kids Definition of opposition

1 : the state of disagreeing with or disapproving of He voiced his opposition.
2 : the action of resisting The proposal met with fierce opposition.
3 : a group of people that disagree with, disapprove of, or resist someone or something

More from Merriam-Webster on opposition

Nglish: Translation of opposition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opposition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opposition


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