Definition of opposite in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɒpəzɪt/
Pronunciation: /ˈɒpəsɪt/


1 [attributive] Situated on the other or further side when seen from a specified or implicit viewpoint; facing: a crowd gathered on the opposite side of the street
More example sentences
  • The trees can be clearly seen from both sides of the river and are situated opposite Asgill House.
  • Spirit touched down on January 4 and its twin, Opportunity, landed on the opposite side of Mars on January 25.
  • No, you can't play on the opposite side of the instrument.
facing, face to face with, across from
informal eyeball to eyeball with
archaic fronting
1.1(Of angles) between opposite sides of the intersection of two lines.
Example sentences
  • The first step is to show that if a line N meets two parallel lines L and M, then opposite angles are equal.
1.2 Botany (Of leaves or shoots) arising in pairs at the same level on opposite sides of the stem.
Example sentences
  • They were harvested in pairs because the plants produce a pair of primary, opposite leaves at each node.
  • The opposite leaf of each node was used for hydraulic experiments.
  • The corresponding opposite leaf received only radiation of selected wavelengths.
2Completely different; of a contrary kind: a word that is opposite in meaning to another currents flowing in opposite directions
More example sentences
  • On the fretless guitar this means that I can glissando in opposite directions on different strings.
  • These two pictures where taken only a few seconds apart but in opposite directions.
  • On closer inspection, he saw that three different sets of prints trailed off in three opposite directions.
2.1 [attributive] Being the other of a contrasted pair: the opposite ends of the price range
More example sentences
  • Two leading scientists on opposite sides of the debate join us.
  • Some of us had been on opposite sides in the recent campaign.
  • Two congressmen on opposite sides of the debate will join me.


A person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else: we were opposites in temperament the literal is the opposite of the figurative
More example sentences
  • These different faiths are not to be regarded as opposites or contradictories.
  • But at the same time they are so different that you might well think of them as opposites.
  • Indeed, it's those co-existing opposites that underpin the whole movie.


In a position facing a specified or implied subject: she was sitting almost opposite he went into the shop opposite


1In a position on the other side of a specific area from; facing: they sat opposite one another
More example sentences
  • The new crossing will be positioned opposite the recently constructed paved area at the top of Finkle Street giving more room for pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
  • Cricklade parents are unhappy with plans to build sheltered flats on a green space and play area opposite the town's junior school.
  • Down a side street, opposite the bus stop a shouting man is sitting on a square of wood, bouncing up and down in an unsuccessful attempt to snap it.
2(Of a leading actor) in a complementary role to (another): the star was a young man playing opposite an older woman
More example sentences
  • Ever since he came into public consciousness for his role in Minority Report opposite Tom Cruise, he's proven to be a force to be reckoned with.
  • Playing opposite her in the role of Gianetta was Rhiannon, who joined the club three and a half years ago, after a friend recommended it.
  • Macfadyen had agreed to star in Middletown last year but then was offered the role as Darcy opposite Hollywood star Knightley.


the opposite sex

Women in relation to men or vice versa.
Example sentences
  • I have always been a bit diffident in matters concerning the opposite sex, perhaps due to a lack of female role models.
  • These also differ depending on whether someone is texting their own gender or someone from the opposite sex.



Example sentences
  • The energy of attraction between oppositely charged particles is inversely proportional to the distance between them.
  • Recall from basic chemistry that pH is a measure of how many hydrogen ions are floating around looking to attract oppositely charged particles.
  • When the train turned toward the left or right, the compass naturally turned oppositely.


Example sentences
  • The first half of the movie so firmly entrenches Peter Banning's complete oppositeness to his former Peter Pan self, that it's hard to believe he really is ‘the Pan’ when the transformation takes place.


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin oppositus, past participle of opponere 'set against'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: op¦pos|ite

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