Definition of preposterous in English:

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Pronunciation: /prɪˈpɒst(ə)rəs/


Contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous: a preposterous suggestion
More example sentences
  • I believe these authorities to be wasting your time and taxes on this utterly preposterous project.
  • Their position is so utterly preposterous it could be construed as libel.
  • My list of possibilities, like anyone else's, is utterly preposterous.
absurd, ridiculous, foolish, stupid, ludicrous, farcical, laughable, comical, risible, hare-brained, asinine, inane, nonsensical, pointless, senseless, insane, unreasonable, irrational, illogical;
outrageous, shocking, astonishing, monstrous, unbelievable, incredible, unthinkable
informal crazy



Pronunciation: /prɪˈpɒst(ə)rəsli/
Example sentences
  • The idea is so preposterously stupid - and thoroughly executed - that it flips over into the realm of sheer genius.
  • The preposterously implausible Moroccan tale is my all-time favourite.
  • What you might not expect is quite how preposterously far-fetched the final act is.


Pronunciation: /prɪˈpɒst(ə)rəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • The preposterousness of this claim is boundless.
  • There is a preposterousness in the book and the script which distances the audience from both the storyline and the characters.
  • The film revels in its preposterousness, and works for this very reason.


Mid 16th century: from Latin praeposterus 'reversed, absurd' (from prae 'before' + posterus 'coming after') + -ous.

  • The Latin word praeposterus meant both ‘reversed, back to front’, and ‘absurd’, combining prae ‘before’ and posterus ‘coming after’. When the English word entered the language it had a pair of meanings that mirrored those in the Latin. One of these, ‘having last what should be first’, is very rare now. But the other, describing anything that seems contrary to reason or absurd, is still going strong.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|pos¦ter|ous

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