[ pri-pos-ter-uhs, -truhs ]
/ prɪˈpɒs tər əs, -trəs /
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completely contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; utterly foolish; absurd; senseless: a preposterous tale.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of preposterous

First recorded in 1535–45; from Latin praeposterus “inverted, reversed, perverted, perverse,” literally, “with the rear part first”; see also pre-, posterior, -ous

synonym study for preposterous

See absurd.

OTHER WORDS FROM preposterous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for preposterous

British Dictionary definitions for preposterous

/ (prɪˈpɒstərəs) /


contrary to nature, reason, or sense; absurd; ridiculous

Derived forms of preposterous

preposterously, adverbpreposterousness, noun

Word Origin for preposterous

C16: from Latin praeposterus reversed, from prae in front, before + posterus following
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