[op-uh-zish-uh n]


Origin of opposition

1350–1400; < Latin oppositiōn- (stem of oppositiō), equivalent to opposit(us) (see opposite) + -iōn- -ion; replacing Middle English opposicioun < Old French opposicion < Latin as above
Related formsop·po·si·tion·al, op·po·si·tion·ar·y, adjectiveop·po·si·tion·less, adjectivenon·op·po·si·tion, nounpre·op·po·si·tion, nounsu·per·op·po·si·tion, nounun·op·po·si·tion·al, adjective
Can be confusedapposition opposition
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for oppositional



the act of opposing or the state of being opposed
hostility, unfriendliness, or antagonism
a person or group antagonistic or opposite in aims to another
  1. the oppositiona political party or group opposed to the ruling party or government
  2. (capital as part of a name, esp in Britain and other Commonwealth countries)Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
  3. in opposition(of a political party) opposing the government
a position facing or opposite another
the act of placing something facing or opposite something else
something that acts as an obstacle to some course or progress
  1. the position of an outer planet or the moon when it is in line or nearly in line with the earth as seen from the sun and is approximately at its nearest to the earth
  2. the position of two celestial bodies when they appear to be diametrically opposite each other on the celestial sphereCompare conjunction (def. 4)
astrology an exact aspect of 180° between two planets, etc, an orb of 8° being allowedSee conjunction (def. 5), square (def. 10), trine (def. 1)
  1. the relation between propositions having the same subject and predicate but differing in quality, quantity, or both, as with all men are wicked; no men are wicked; some men are not wicked
  2. square of oppositiona diagram representing these relations with the contradictory propositions at diagonally opposite corners
the opposition chess a relative position of the kings in the endgame such that the player who has the move is at a disadvantagehis opponent has the opposition
Derived Formsoppositional, adjectiveoppositionist, nounoppositionless, 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 oppositional



late 14c., an astrological term for the situation of two heavenly bodies exactly across from one another in the heavens, from Old French oposicion (12c.) or directly from Latin oppositionem (nominative oppositio) "act of opposing, a placing against," noun of action from past participle stem of opponere "set against" (see opponent). Meaning "that which is opposite something else" is from 1540s; meaning "contrast, antagonism" first attested 1580s; sense of "political party opposed to the one in power" is from 1704. Related: Oppositional.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for oppositional



A characteristic movement of the primate thumb, in which the pad of the thumb can be placed in contact with the pads of the fingers of the same hand.
The position of two celestial bodies when their celestial longitude differs by 180°, especially a configuration in which Earth lies on a straight line between the Sun and a superior planet or the Moon. Planets in this position rise as the Sun sets and are visible all night long, reaching their highest point in the sky at midnight; the Moon in this position is full. Compare conjunction. See more at elongation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.