Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To be in contention or conflict with: oppose the enemy force.
  • transitive v. To be resistant to: opposes new ideas.
  • transitive v. To place opposite in contrast or counterbalance.
  • transitive v. To place so as to be opposite something else.
  • intransitive v. To act or be in opposition.
  • idiom as opposed to In contrast to: "a Baroque violin that ... uses gut strings as opposed to metal-wound ones” ( William Zagorski).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To attempt to stop the progression of.
  • v. To object to.
  • v. To present or set up in opposition; to pose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be set opposite.
  • intransitive v. To act adversely or in opposition; -- with against or to.
  • intransitive v. To make objection or opposition in controversy.
  • transitive v. To place in front of, or over against; to set opposite; to exhibit.
  • transitive v. To put in opposition, with a view to counterbalance or countervail; to set against; to offer antagonistically.
  • transitive v. To resist or antagonize by physical means, or by arguments, etc.; to contend against; to confront; to resist; to withstand
  • transitive v. To compete with; to strive against.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set or place over against or directly opposite; confront or cause to confront, either literally or by way of comparison, contrast, etc.
  • To expose; show; display.
  • To propose; offer.
  • To place or interpose as an obstacle; place in opposition, as for the purpose of contradicting, countervailing, offsetting, or withstanding and defeating something.
  • To speak or act against; confront with adverse arguments or efforts; contradict; withstand; endeavor to frustrate or thwart.
  • To hinder; resist effectually; prevent; defeat: as, the army was not able to oppose the enemy's progress.
  • Synonyms Oppose, Resist, Withstand, combat, strive against, contravene. The first three words are all rather general, but oppose is not quite so strong as the others, as suggesting less of physical action; they all primarily convey the idea of receiving rather than making the attack, but oppose is least restricted to that meaning. See frustrate.
  • To stand over against another or one another; be opposite.
  • To interpose effort or objection; act or speak in opposition; be adverse or act adverse ly: sometimes with to or against.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. fight against or resist strongly
  • v. be resistant to
  • v. set into opposition or rivalry
  • v. act against or in opposition to
  • v. contrast with equal weight or force
  • v. be against; express opposition to

Etymologies

Middle English opposen, to question, interrogate, from Old French opposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to place) of Latin oppōnere, to oppose (ob-, against; see ob- + pōnere, to put).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English opposen, from Old French opposer, from Latin ob ("before, against") + Medieval Latin pausare ("to put"), taking the place of Latin opponere ("to oppose"). (Wiktionary)

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