Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To be or act in contention or conflict with.
  • intransitive verb To be hostile or resistant to; try to prevent.
  • intransitive verb To set as an opposite in position.
  • intransitive verb To present in counterbalance or contrast.
  • intransitive verb To be or act in opposition.
  • idiom (as opposed to) In contrast to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[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; see apo- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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