Definition of opposition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɒpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/


1 [mass noun] Resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument: there was considerable opposition to the proposal
More example sentences
  • For some, it appeared to breed a resistance or opposition to program authorities, which they later regretted.
  • Your argument to justify your opposition to the peace talks is puerile.
  • Your argument seems to conflate opposition to the war with opposition to a ‘unilateral’ war.
resistance, hostility, antagonism, antipathy, enmity, objection, dissent, criticism, defiance, non-compliance, obstruction, obstructiveness, counteraction;
dislike, disapproval, demurral
1.1 (often the opposition) A group of opponents, especially in sport, business, or politics: the home team made short work of the opposition
More example sentences
  • In any event, it is not the coach's business to let the opposition know beforehand the team's weaknesses in any area.
  • It was supported by the government, opposition, big businesses and trade unions.
  • Such a development inevitably comes up against the restraints of the profit system and meets with the opposition of big business.
opponents, opposing side, other side, other team, competition, competitors, opposers, rivals, adversaries, antagonists, enemies
literary foes
1.2 (the Opposition) British The principal parliamentary party opposed to that in office: the leader of the Opposition
More example sentences
  • The Opposition had sent the Bill back to the Commons four times in an unprecedentedly bitter conflict.
  • The Opposition is demanding that the government stop spinning the issue and clarify its position.
  • The Opposition must then have policies which, in the eyes of the electorate, are relevant to the day.
1.3 Astronomy & Astrology The apparent position of two celestial objects that are directly opposite each other in the sky, especially the position of a planet when opposite the sun.
Example sentences
  • An eclipse occurs only if the Moon crosses the ecliptic when very close to either conjunction or opposition, respectively producing solar and lunar eclipses.
  • The other half of the Grand Cross is the opposition of Mars in Scorpio and Saturn in Taurus.
  • At opposition, a planet also comes closest to earth and shines at its brightest for the year.
2A contrast or antithesis: a nature-culture opposition [mass noun]: the opposition between practical and poetic language
More example sentences
  • Likewise Tomu came to think of a film's plot in terms of a series of oppositions or conflicts.
  • These two oppositions generate four basic strands of modern thought.
  • Our western predilection of talking in terms of binary oppositions finds an array of contrasts to play with in Wuthering Heights.
conflict, clash, difference, contrast, disparity, antithesis, polarity


in opposition

In contrast or conflict: they found themselves in opposition to state policy
More example sentences
  • In fact, wisdom and faith are not really in opposition to one another.
  • You put yourself in opposition to a number of Republicans, as well, on immigration.
  • He will never start a movement in opposition to those he condemns, because that would be sticking his neck out.
1.1(Of a major political party) not forming the government: the objectives of the party while in opposition
More example sentences
  • Labour-type parties that are in opposition in Europe are trying to gain from the revolt against neo-liberalism.
  • Of course, a government may claim that a problem is never exactly the same as it appeared when it was a party in opposition.
  • What might be the legacies of three terms of a New Labour government and what would be the direction of the Labour Party in opposition?


Late Middle English: from Latin oppositio(n-), from opponere 'set against'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: op¦pos|ition

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