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opposable

[uh-poh-zuh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. capable of being placed opposite to something else: the opposable thumb of primates.
  2. capable of being resisted, fought, or opposed.
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Origin of opposable

First recorded in 1660–70; oppose + -able
Related formsop·pos·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·op·pos·a·ble, adjectiveun·op·pos·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for opposability

opposable

adjective
  1. capable of being opposed
  2. Also: apposable (of the thumb of primates, esp man) capable of being moved into a position facing the other digits so as to be able to touch the ends of each
  3. capable of being placed opposite something else
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Derived Formsopposably, adverbopposability, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for opposability

opposable

adj.

1660s, "capable of being withstood," from oppose + -able. In reference to human thumbs, from 1833. Related: Opposability.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper