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[pohz] /poʊz/
verb (used without object), posed, posing.
to assume a particular attitude or stance, especially with the hope of impressing others:
He likes to pose as an authority on literature.
to present oneself insincerely:
He seems to be posing in all his behavior.
to assume or hold a physical attitude, as for an artistic purpose:
to pose for a painter.
verb (used with object), posed, posing.
to place in a suitable position or attitude for a picture, tableau, or the like:
to pose a group for a photograph.
to assert, state, or put forward:
That poses a difficult problem.
to put or place.
a bodily attitude or posture:
Her pose had a note of defiance in it.
a mental attitude or posture:
a pose cultivated by the upper classes.
the act or period of posing, as for a picture.
a position or attitude assumed in posing, or exhibited by a figure in a picture, sculptural work, tableau, or the like.
a moment in which a dancer remains motionless, usually in an assumed posture.
a studied attitude; affectation:
His liberalism is merely a pose.
Origin of pose1
1325-75; (v.) Middle English posen < Middle French poser < Late Latin pausāre to stop, cease, rest, derivative of Latin pausa pause; French poser has taken over the basic sense of Latin pōnere “to put, place” and represents it in French borrowings of its prefixed derivatives (see compose, depose, etc.), probably reinforced by the accidental resemblance of poser to positum, past participle of pōnere; (noun) derivative of the v.
Related forms
posable, adjective
posingly, adverb
3. sit, model. 7. See position.


[pohz] /poʊz/
verb (used with object), posed, posing.
to embarrass or baffle, as by a difficult question or problem.
Obsolete. to examine by putting questions.
1520-30; aphetic variant of obsolete appose, variant of oppose, used in sense of Latin appōnere to put to Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for posing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Finally, after half an hour or more of posing, I got several good pictures of the babies on a dead branch.

  • Was he posing as Ruth Morton's brother, and if so, for what reason?

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • You with a boy three or four years old, posing around as a goody-goody bachelor.

    The Jack-Knife Man Ellis Parker Butler
  • They found her "posing" to a certain painter; and they took their stand as spectators.

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
  • "You can't have been posing in art very long," said Eugene thoughtfully, thinking of her age.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
British Dictionary definitions for posing


to assume or cause to assume a physical attitude, as for a photograph or painting
(intransitive) often foll by as. to pretend to be or present oneself (as something one is not)
(intransitive) to affect an attitude or play a part in order to impress others
(transitive) to put forward, ask, or assert: to pose a question
a physical attitude, esp one deliberately adopted for or represented by an artist or photographer
a mode of behaviour that is adopted for effect
Word Origin
C14: from Old French poser to set in place, from Late Latin pausāre to cease, put down (influenced by Latin pōnere to place)


verb (transitive)
(rare) to puzzle or baffle
(archaic) to question closely
Word Origin
C16: from obsolete appose, from Latin appōnere to put to, set against; see oppose
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
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Word Origin and History for posing



late 14c., "suggest, propose, suppose, assume," from Old French poser "put, place, propose," a term in debating, from Late Latin pausare "to halt, rest, pause" (source also of Italian posare, Spanish posar; see pause (v.)). The Old French verb (in common with cognates in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) acquired the sense of Latin ponere "to put, place," by confusion of the similar stems. Meaning "put in a certain position" is from early 15c. Sense of "assume a certain attitude" is from 1840; the transitive sense (as an artist's model, etc.) is from 1859. Related: Posed; posing.

"to puzzle, confuse, perplex," 1590s, earlier "question, interrogate" (1520s), probably from Middle French poser "suppose, assume," from Old French poser "to put, place, set" (see pose (v.1)). Also in some cases a shortening of English appose "examine closely," and oppose. Related: Posed; posing.


"act of posing the body," 1818, from pose (v.1), in a sense developed in the French cognate. Figuratively from 1884.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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