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

  • transitive v. To remove from office or power.
  • transitive v. To dethrone.
  • transitive v. Law To state or affirm in a deposition or by affidavit.
  • transitive v. Law To take a deposition from: Investigators will depose the witness behind closed doors.
  • transitive v. To put or lay down; deposit.
  • intransitive v. Law To give a deposition; testify.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. (transitive) To put down; to lay down; to deposit; to lay aside; to put away.
  • v. To remove (a leader) from (high) office, without killing the incumbent.
  • v. (intransitive) To give evidence or testimony, especially in response to interrogation during a deposition
  • v. To take, swear an oath.
  • v. (transitive) To interrogate and elicit testimony during a deposition, typically by a lawyer.
  • v. To testify; to bear witness; to claim; to assert; to affirm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To bear witness; to testify under oath; to make deposition.
  • transitive v. To lay down; to divest one's self of; to lay aside.
  • transitive v. To let fall; to deposit.
  • transitive v. To remove from a throne or other high station; to dethrone; to divest or deprive of office.
  • transitive v. To testify under oath; to bear testimony to; -- now usually said of bearing testimony which is officially written down for future use.
  • transitive v. To put under oath.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay down; let fall; deposit.
  • To lay aside.
  • To remove; eject; evict.
  • To remove from office, especially from royalty, or from high executive, ecclesiastical, or judicial office; dethrone; divest of office: as, to depose a king or a bishop.
  • To take away; strip off (from one); divest (one of).
  • To testify to; attest.
  • To examine on oath; take the deposition of.
  • To bear witness.
  • Specifically To give testimony on oath; especially, to give testimony which is embodied in writing in a deposition or an affidavit; give answers to interrogatories intended as evidence in a court: as, he deposed to the following facts; the witness deposes and says that, etc.

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

  • v. force to leave (an office)
  • v. make a deposition; declare under oath


Middle English deposen, from Old French deposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put) of Latin dēpōnere, to put down; see depone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since c.1300, from Old French deposer, from de- "down" + poser "to put, place". Deposition (1494 in the legal sense) belongs to deposit, but that related word and depose became totally confused (Wiktionary)


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  • Contronymic in the sense: overthrow vs. affirm, attest, elicit and record testimony.

    January 27, 2007