- the relation between two propositions that have the same subject and predicate, but which differ in quantity or quality, or in both.
- the relation between two propositions in virtue of which the truth or falsity of one of them determines the truth or falsity of the other.
- the relationship between any two alternative units within a linguistic system, especially between minimally distinct phonemes.
- the feature that constitutes the difference between two such units.
Origin of opposition
- the oppositiona political party or group opposed to the ruling party or government
- (capital as part of a name, esp in Britain and other Commonwealth countries)Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
- in opposition(of a political party) opposing the government
- 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
- the position of two celestial bodies when they appear to be diametrically opposite each other on the celestial sphereCompare conjunction (def. 4)
- 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
- square of oppositiona diagram representing these relations with the contradictory propositions at diagonally opposite corners
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.