[ prep-uh-zish-uhn ]
/ ˌprɛp əˈzɪʃ ən /
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any member of a class of words found in many languages that are used before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives to form phrases functioning as modifiers of verbs, nouns, or adjectives, and that typically express a spatial, temporal, or other relationship, as in, on, by, to, since.
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Origin of preposition1
grammar notes for preposition
The often heard but misleading “rule” that a sentence should not end with a preposition is transferred from Latin, where it is an accurate description of practice. But English grammar is different from Latin grammar, and the rule does not fit English. In speech, the final preposition is normal and idiomatic, especially in questions: What are we waiting for? Where did he come from? You didn't tell me which floor you worked on. In writing, the problem of placing the preposition arises most when a sentence ends with a relative clause in which the relative pronoun ( that; whom; which; whomever; whichever; whomsoever ) is the object of a preposition. In edited writing, especially more formal writing, when a pronoun other than that introduces a final relative clause, the preposition usually precedes its object: He abandoned the project to which he had devoted his whole life. I finally telephoned the representative with whom I had been corresponding. If the pronoun is that, which cannot be preceded by a preposition, or if the pronoun is omitted, then the preposition must occur at the end: The librarian found the books that the child had scribbled in. There is the woman he spoke of.
OTHER WORDS FROM preposition
prep·o·si·tion·al, adjectiveprep·o·si·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·prep·o·si·tion·al, adjectivenon·prep·o·si·tion·al·ly, adverb
qua·si-prep·o·si·tion·al, adjectivequa·si-prep·o·si·tion·al·ly, adverb
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH prepositionpreposition , proposition
Other definitions for preposition (2 of 2)
[ pree-puh-zish-uhn ]
/ ˌpri pəˈzɪʃ ən /
verb (used with object)
to position in advance or beforehand: to preposition troops in anticipated trouble spots.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use preposition in a sentence
The need to respond on a moment's notice adds to the value of airlift and prepositioned ships.Shock and Awe|Harlan K. Ullman
British Dictionary definitions for preposition
/ (ˌprɛpəˈzɪʃən) /
a word or group of words used before a noun or pronoun to relate it grammatically or semantically to some other constituent of a sentenceAbbreviation: prep
Derived forms of prepositionprepositional, adjectiveprepositionally, adverb
Word Origin for preposition
C14: from Latin praepositiō a putting before, from pōnere to place
usage for preposition
The practice of ending a sentence with a preposition (Venice is a place I should like to go to) was formerly regarded as incorrect, but is now acceptable and is the preferred form in many contexts
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
Cultural definitions for preposition
A part of speech that indicates the relationship, often spatial, of one word to another. For example, “She paused at the gate”; “This tomato is ripe for picking”; and “They talked the matter over head to head.” Some common prepositions are at, by, for, from, in, into, on, to, and with.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.