Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To set or place (one thing) over or above something else.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To place (one geometric figure) over another so that all like parts coincide.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To place one thing on top of another
  • v. To place one geometric figure on top of another in such a way that all common parts coincide

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To lay upon, as one kind of rock on another.
  • transitive v. To lay (a figure) upon another in such a manner that all the parts of the one coincide with the parts of the other.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay or place upon or over, as one kind of rock on another.
  • In botany, to place vertically over some other part: specifically used of arranging one whorl of organs opposite or over another instead of alternately.

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

  • v. place on top of
  • v. place (one geometric figure) upon another so that their perimeters coincide

Etymologies

Probably French superposer, back-formation from superposition, superposition, from Late Latin superpositiō, superpositiōn-, from Latin superpositus, past participle of superpōnere, to place over : super-, super- + pōnere, to place; see position.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • OVERVIEW: The world of the novel is our world with Internet, cell phones, all the usual countries and one addition - a "dual" city Beszel and Ul Qoma that occupy the same physical space in the sense that they intertwine and even superpose in selected areas known as "crosshatches".

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Further, I await the outcome of experiments to superpose viruses.

    Heads down, there's going to be incoming...

  • This the roving waves bore over the submerged and now peaty forests, and deposited above them the elements of rocks which were to superpose the coal strata.

    The Underground City

  • Amplitudes from various paths superpose by addition.

    Richard P. Feynman - Nobel Lecture

  • There is nothing more easy to superpose -- as it were -- two distinct diseases and to produce what might be called a SEPTICEMIC PURULENT INFECTION, or

    The Harvard Classics Volume 38 Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology)

  • The cupola was broken; but it is to be remarked that a movable and well-covered one would not have been placed under so disadvantageous circumstances as the one under consideration, upon which it was easy to superpose the blows.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 531, March 6, 1886

  • To _put over_ or upon; as to _superpose_ one rock upon another.

    Orthography As Outlined in the State Course of Study for Illinois

  • L'évaluation commune distingue un double élément dans l'objet: sa valeur ordinaire à laquelle répond le juste prix, et cette valeur extraordinaire qui appartient au vendeur, dont il se prive et qui mérite une compensation: il le fait pour ainsi dire l'objet d'un second contrat qui se superpose au premier.

    An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching

  • On restoring the wire to its original place, it will be extremely flexible, and we may now superpose several contrary polarities under contrary torsions, as already described.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883

  • It is remarkable, also, that we are enabled to superpose and obtain the maximum effects on thin strips of iron from ¼ to ½ millimeter in thickness, while in thicker rods we have far less effect, being masked by the comparatively neutral state of the interior, the exterior molecules then reaching upon those of the interior, allowing them to complete in the interior their circle of attractions.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883

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