[ ap-uh-zish-uhn ]
See synonyms for apposition on
  1. the act of placing together or bringing into proximity; juxtaposition.

  2. the addition or application of one thing to another thing.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

Other words from apposition

  • ap·po·si·tion·al, adjective
  • ap·po·si·tion·al·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with apposition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use apposition in a sentence

  • (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
  • The same rule applies to a similar appositional genitive in Hebrew—a curious coincidence between two quite unconnected languages.

  • 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.

  • But this is not the Cornish form, which uses the simple appositional genitive in such cases.

British Dictionary definitions for apposition


/ (ˌæpəˈzɪʃən) /

  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

  1. biology growth in the thickness of a cell wall by the deposition of successive layers of material: Compare intussusception (def. 2)

Derived forms of apposition

  • appositional, 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