[dep-uh-zish-uh n, dee-puh-]
  1. removal from an office or position.
  2. the act or process of depositing: deposition of the documents with the Library of Congress.
  3. the state of being deposited or precipitated: deposition of soil at the mouth of a river.
  4. something that is deposited.
  5. Law.
    1. the giving of testimony under oath.
    2. the testimony so given.
    3. a statement under oath, taken down in writing, to be used in court in place of the spoken testimony of the witness.
  6. Ecclesiastical.
    1. the interment of the body of a saint.
    2. the reinterment of the body or the relics of a saint.
  7. (initial capital letter) a work of art depicting Christ being lowered from the Cross.

Origin of deposition

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Late Latin dēpositiōn- (stem of dēpositiō) a putting aside, testimony, burial, equivalent to Latin dēposit(us) laid down (see deposit) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdep·o·si·tion·al, adjectivepost·dep·o·si·tion·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for post-depositional


  1. the taking down of Christ's body from the Cross or a representation of this


  1. law
    1. the giving of testimony on oath
    2. the testimony so given
    3. the sworn statement of a witness used in court in his absence
  2. the act or instance of deposing
  3. the act or an instance of depositing
  4. something that is deposited; deposit

Word Origin for deposition

C14: from Late Latin dēpositiō a laying down, disposal, burying, testimony
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 post-depositional



late 14c., "dethronement, putting down from dignity or authority," from Old French deposicion (12c.), from Latin depositionem (nominative depositio), noun of action from past participle stem of deponere (see deposit (v.)).

Meaning "statements made in court under oath" is from early 15c. Meaning "action of depositing" is from 1590s. Properly, deposition belongs to deposit, but deposit and depose have become totally confused and English deposition partakes of senses belonging to both.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

post-depositional in Science


  1. The accumulation or laying down of matter by a natural process, as the laying down of sediments in a river or the accumulation of mineral deposits in a bodily organ.
  2. The process of changing from a gas to a solid without passing through an intermediate liquid phase. Carbon dioxide, at a pressure of one atmosphere, undergoes deposition at about -78 degrees Celsius. Compare sublimation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.