Definition of deponent in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈpəʊnənt/


(Of a verb, especially in Latin or Greek) passive or middle in form but active in meaning.
Example sentences
  • It is a misnomer to classify this as a deponent verb; the middle force of the verb is not absent.
  • Typical is Wenham: ‘A deponent verb is one which is Middle or Passive in form, but Active in meaning.’
  • He argues that in light of recent discussion we can do a better job of classifying deponent forms and understanding them than we have in the past.


1 Grammar A deponent verb.
Example sentences
  • Just because an active form doesn't exist in the relatively small corpus of the New Testament, this is no reason to deem a verb deponent.
  • When one examines the ‘passive deponent’ verbs in question, they are a subset of the eighty-five-plus verbs that we have argued are true middles, not deponents.
  • Mounce gives the figure of approximately seventy-five percent of the middle forms in the NT should be classified as deponent.
2 Law A person who makes a deposition or affidavit under oath.
Example sentences
  • I understand from the affidavits that the various deponents have inconvenienced themselves by coming to the Court today.
  • The deponents to these affidavits state that they have suffered injuries which were not fully compensated for under the prior settlements.
  • You are the deponent of the affidavit which you have provided to the Court Registry in support of the application?


Late Middle English: from Latin deponent- 'laying aside, putting down' (in medieval Latin 'testifying'), from the verb deponere, from de- 'down' + ponere 'place'. The use in grammar arose from the notion that the verb had ‘laid aside’ the passive sense (although in fact these verbs were originally reflexive).

Words that rhyme with deponent

component, exponent, opponent, proponent

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|pon¦ent

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