• synonyms


verb (used without object), posed, pos·ing.
  1. to assume a particular attitude or stance, especially with the hope of impressing others: He likes to pose as an authority on literature.
  2. to present oneself insincerely: He seems to be posing in all his behavior.
  3. to assume or hold a physical attitude, as for an artistic purpose: to pose for a painter.
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verb (used with object), posed, pos·ing.
  1. to place in a suitable position or attitude for a picture, tableau, or the like: to pose a group for a photograph.
  2. to assert, state, or put forward: That poses a difficult problem.
  3. to put or place.
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  1. a bodily attitude or posture: Her pose had a note of defiance in it.
  2. a mental attitude or posture: a pose cultivated by the upper classes.
  3. the act or period of posing, as for a picture.
  4. a position or attitude assumed in posing, or exhibited by a figure in a picture, sculptural work, tableau, or the like.
  5. a moment in which a dancer remains motionless, usually in an assumed posture.
  6. a studied attitude; affectation: His liberalism is merely a pose.
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Origin of pose1

1325–75; (v.) Middle English posen < Middle French poser < Late Latin pausāre to stop, cease, rest, derivative of Latin pausa pause; French poser has taken over the basic sense of Latin pōnere “to put, place” and represents it in French borrowings of its prefixed derivatives (see compose, depose, etc.), probably reinforced by the accidental resemblance of poser to positum, past participle of pōnere; (noun) derivative of the v.
Related formspos·a·ble, adjectivepos·ing·ly, adverb


3. sit, model. 7. See position.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for posable

Historical Examples

  • My wife is name lucy an morris my child is name lot, if you please dear sir answer me as soon as you can posable.

    The Underground Railroad

    William Still

  • Making all posable speed to Sandy Point, making about 15 knots ever since we started this morning.

  • On the 3rd the Spanish fleet came out of the Harbor to fight and get a way if posable.

  • All the people still full of friendship to me; but I keept myself still to myself as much as posable, without giving an ofence.

British Dictionary definitions for posable


  1. to assume or cause to assume a physical attitude, as for a photograph or painting
  2. (intr often foll by as) to pretend to be or present oneself (as something one is not)
  3. (intr) to affect an attitude or play a part in order to impress others
  4. (tr) to put forward, ask, or assertto pose a question
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  1. a physical attitude, esp one deliberately adopted for or represented by an artist or photographer
  2. a mode of behaviour that is adopted for effect
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French poser to set in place, from Late Latin pausāre to cease, put down (influenced by Latin pōnere to place)


verb (tr)
  1. rare to puzzle or baffle
  2. archaic to question closely
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Word Origin

C16: from obsolete appose, from Latin appōnere to put to, set against; see oppose
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 posable


1972 of questions; 1975 of action figures; from pose (v.1 and 2) + -able.

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late 14c., "suggest, propose, suppose, assume," from Old French poser "put, place, propose," a term in debating, from Late Latin pausare "to halt, rest, pause" (source also of Italian posare, Spanish posar; see pause (v.)). The Old French verb (in common with cognates in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) acquired the sense of Latin ponere "to put, place," by confusion of the similar stems. Meaning "put in a certain position" is from early 15c. Sense of "assume a certain attitude" is from 1840; the transitive sense (as an artist's model, etc.) is from 1859. Related: Posed; posing.

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"to puzzle, confuse, perplex," 1590s, earlier "question, interrogate" (1520s), probably from Middle French poser "suppose, assume," from Old French poser "to put, place, set" (see pose (v.1)). Also in some cases a shortening of English appose "examine closely," and oppose. Related: Posed; posing.

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"act of posing the body," 1818, from pose (v.1), in a sense developed in the French cognate. Figuratively from 1884.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper