[ uh-pohz ]
See synonyms for: opposeopposedopposingopposer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),op·posed, op·pos·ing.
  1. to act against or provide resistance to; combat: to vigorously oppose tyranny in every form.

  2. to stand in the way of; hinder; obstruct.

  1. to set as an opponent or adversary.

  2. to be hostile or adverse to, as in opinion: to oppose a resolution in a debate.

  3. to set as an obstacle or hindrance.

  4. to set against in some relation, especially as to demonstrate a comparison or contrast: to oppose advantages to disadvantages.

  5. to use or take as being opposite or contrary.

  6. to set (something) over against something else in place, or to set (two things) so as to face or be opposite to one another.

verb (used without object),op·posed, op·pos·ing.
  1. to be or act in opposition.

Origin of oppose

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Old French opposer, blend of Latin oppōnere “to set against” and Old French poser “to pose, place,” associated with the Latin past participle oppositus; see pose1

synonym study For oppose

1. Oppose, resist, withstand imply setting up a force against something. The difference between oppose and resist is somewhat similar to the one between offensive and defensive action. To oppose is mainly to fight against, in order to thwart, certain tendencies or procedures of which one does not approve: The lobbyists opposed the passage of the bill. Resist suggests that the subject is already threatened by the forces, or by the imminent possibility, against which they struggle: Our religion requires us to resist temptation. Whereas oppose always suggests an attitude of great disapproval, resist may imply an inner struggle in which the will is divided: She tried unsuccessfully to resist her craving for ice cream. Withstand generally implies successful resistance; it may refer to endurance that allows one to emerge unharmed ( to withstand a shock ), as well as to active resistance: The fort should be able to withstand an aerial attack.

Other words for oppose

Opposites for oppose

Other words from oppose

  • op·pos·er, noun
  • pre·op·pose, verb (used with object), pre·op·posed, pre·op·pos·ing.
  • re·op·pose, verb (used with object), re·op·posed, re·op·pos·ing.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use oppose in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for oppose


/ (əˈpəʊz) /

  1. (tr) to fight against, counter, or resist strongly

  2. (tr) to be hostile or antagonistic to; be against

  1. (tr) to place or set in opposition; contrast or counterbalance

  2. (tr) to place opposite or facing

  3. (intr) to be or act in opposition

Origin of oppose

C14: via Old French from Latin oppōnere, from ob- against + pōnere to place

Derived forms of oppose

  • opposer, noun
  • opposing, adjective
  • opposingly, adverb
  • oppositive (əˈpɒzɪtɪv), 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