[ap-uh-zish-uh n]
  1. the act of placing together or bringing into proximity; juxtaposition.
  2. the addition or application of one thing to another thing.
  3. Grammar. a syntactic relation between expressions, usually consecutive, that have the same function and the same relation to other elements in the sentence, the second expression identifying or supplementing the first. In Washington, our first president, the phrase our first president is in apposition with Washington.
  4. Biology. growth of a cell wall by the deposition of new particles in layers on the wall.Compare intussusception(def 2).

Origin of apposition

1400–50; late Middle English apposicioun < Late Latin appositiōn- (stem of appositiō) < Latin apposit(us) (see apposite) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsap·po·si·tion·al, adjectiveap·po·si·tion·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedapposition opposition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for appositional

Historical Examples of appositional

  • Similarly, when the object is a noun, it really follows the infinitive as an appositional genitive.

  • If the object is not a pronoun, it follows the infinitive without change of initial, after the manner of an appositional genitive.

  • The appositional construction is, in reality, a matter of concord rather than of gender.

    The English Language

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • The appositional construction seems to require such a form of government; but the form is only apparent.

    The English Language

    Robert Gordon Latham

  • (a) Pick out the possessive nouns, and tell whether each is appositional, objective, or subjective.

    An English Grammar

    W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell

British Dictionary definitions for appositional


  1. a putting into juxtaposition
  2. a grammatical construction in which a word, esp a noun phrase, is placed after another to modify its meaning
  3. biology growth in the thickness of a cell wall by the deposition of successive layers of materialCompare intussusception (def. 2)
Derived Formsappositional, adjective
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 appositional



"application" (of one thing to another), mid-15c., originally in grammatical sense, from Latin appositionem (nominative appositio), noun of action from past participle stem of apponere "to put to" (see apposite). General sense is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

appositional in Medicine


  1. The putting in contact of two parts or substances.
  2. The condition of being placed or fitted together.
  3. The growth of successive layers of a cell wall.
Related formsap′po•sition•al adj.ap′po•sition•al•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.