opposable

[uh-poh-zuh-buh l]

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
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British Dictionary definitions for opposable

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
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 opposable
adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper