Definition of depose in English:



[with object]
  • 1Remove from office suddenly and forcefully.

    ‘he had been deposed by a military coup’
    • ‘Before he could make the trip, however, he was deposed by the May 27 military coup.’
    • ‘The Foreign Office was warned of a plot to depose the leader of an oil-rich country weeks before the coup attempt happened.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, thousands of lives and billions of dollars have been spent deposing a defanged dictatorship that posed no immediate threat to us.’
    • ‘He has been in exile since being deposed by military coup in 1967.’
    • ‘Clergy members found guilty of such a charge can be admonished, removed from office or, in extreme cases, be deposed from holy orders - ‘unfrocked’.’
    • ‘They were, inevitably, deposed from office, expelled from the order, and excommunicated - so becoming, ironically, apostates themselves.’
    • ‘His physicality is extraordinarily powerful, and he paces around the office like a miserably deposed silverback gorilla now unsure of anything other than his own brute strength.’
    • ‘He is now facing pressure of his own, with a wave of strikes by university students and transportation unions leading to rumours that the military was planning to depose him.’
    • ‘If the number is not zero, they will be deposed by force.’
    • ‘But even though he was unceremoniously deposed from office last year, could the mild-mannered leader really be capable of such deeds?’
    • ‘Under the proposed resolution, failure to comply with this deadline would justify the use of force to depose him.’
    • ‘The motive is to destroy all those in the south who might threaten the oil revenues that sustain the regime's grip (it came to power by deposing an elected government and enjoys very little popular support).’
    • ‘For example, Pope Silverius was deposed by force and died in a penal colony.’
    • ‘The first minister can only be deposed if a majority of nationalists support unionists in removing him.’
    • ‘A military coup in 1955 deposed him, sending him into exile first in Paraguay and ultimately in Madrid.’
    • ‘The polls this time, he said, were ‘the first firm step toward deposing the ruling parties.’’
    • ‘He served 24 years and was eventually deposed by a right-wing military coup.’
    • ‘He was deposed after demonstrators stormed his office more than a week ago.’
    • ‘A final reason was to reinstate an elected government illegally deposed by force.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, John realized that not all tyrants could be peaceably overcome and offered specific advice about deposing them by force.’
    overthrow, overturn, topple, bring down, remove from office, remove, unseat, dethrone, supplant, displace
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Testify to or give (evidence) under oath, typically in a written statement.

    ‘every affidavit shall state which of the facts deposed to are within the deponent's knowledge’
    • ‘He deposed to the fact that he was afraid of the wife and afraid of her family.’
    • ‘He deposed to the fact that the two are ‘a genuine and committed couple’.’
    • ‘The documents which you have deposed to in the witness box and referred to are strictly in answer to the subpoena but in respect of which you claim privilege.’
    • ‘A person in the legal secretariat to the Law Officers deposed to the contrary.’
    • ‘The third witness would depose on March 31, prosecution sources said.’
    swear, testify, attest, undertake, assert, declare, profess, aver, submit, claim
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French deposer, from Latin deponere (see deponent), but influenced by Latin depositus and Old French poser ‘to place’.