Definition of oppose in English:



  • 1 Disagree with and attempt to prevent, especially by argument.

    ‘a majority of the electorate opposed EC membership’
    • ‘The left opposes any attempt to ban such groups.’
    • ‘The respondent's argument opposing liability for temporary spousal support took into account only one support objective.’
    • ‘There were also those who opposed Rousseau's argument of women's different nature and argued instead for the social equality of women.’
    • ‘You could see that in the faces of the people there last night and they would obviously oppose any attempt to remove him.’
    • ‘If you oppose ID cards you now also oppose measures to prevent electoral fraud.’
    • ‘I thank those members who have opposed it with incoherent arguments.’
    • ‘There may be good moral arguments for opposing the smacking of children, but they are not to be found in the realm of scientific research.’
    • ‘Perhaps the opponents can offer a logical argument instead of simply opposing it on the grounds of change.’
    • ‘I am deeply concerned about the propaganda and false arguments from those who oppose nuclear power.’
    • ‘This conference opposes all attempts to divide workers on national, ethnic, racial, sexual or religious grounds.’
    • ‘That argument has to be opposed for two reasons.’
    • ‘Sir W. Foster opposed any attempt to prevent the public from buying cheap food so long as it was wholesome.’
    • ‘I opposed the argument in the public forum and afterwards we went into the Green Room and we continued to chat.’
    • ‘Neither opposed the Treaty using arguments based on its actual content.’
    • ‘Mamabolo opposed the defence argument that there were exceptional circumstances that needed to be considered when judgment was made.’
    • ‘Arguments opposing treatment centred on the supremacy of autonomy as an ethical principle.’
    • ‘Anna Zuccari, know as Neera, wrote stories that described the lives of middle-class married women with sad candour; yet she opposed feminist arguments.’
    • ‘But I don't think the paper provides any reason for opposing them; the argument has to be conducted on other grounds.’
    • ‘Our national interest is such that we would oppose any attempt to weaken the jurisdiction of coastal states.’
    • ‘The argument of those who opposed the naming was that the countries named would decrease their efforts to carry out reforms to meet membership criteria.’
    disapprove of, dissent from, think wrong, be against, have a problem with, demur about, demur against, not believe in, not support
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    1. 1.1Actively resist (a person or system)
      ‘a workers' movement opposed the regime’
      • ‘Influence within Europe is at the heart of this debate and those opposing our membership of the euro must understand clearly what they are campaigning for.’
      • ‘Part of Tom's definition of evil has to do with actively opposing him and trying to steal his throne, but that's only a part of it.’
      • ‘However, a cross-section of commuters, residents and commercial establishment owners are opposing the new system.’
      • ‘James Madison in 1784 opposed an attempt by the Virginia legislature to levy a tax to support religious education.’
      • ‘And they do so while saddled with parties and trade unions that have abandoned all pretence of opposing the profit system.’
      • ‘At the same time, this system was bitterly opposed by the great majority of ordinary people.’
      • ‘We are striving to pave the way for a mass political movement throughout Europe that opposes the capitalist system.’
      • ‘They came to oppose attempts by the London fire authority to remove one of the station's two engines.’
      • ‘They have opposed every attempt to raise the minimum wage over the past two generations.’
      • ‘This is not an accident in a situation where many sections of the working people are already actively opposing the various attacks on their social conditions.’
      • ‘Black had already gained a reputation for opposing the liquor trade.’
      • ‘I resisted, opposing the movement with my whole self.’
      • ‘Several students have opposed the attempts to divert the campaign along divisive communal lines.’
      • ‘We should oppose these attempts to force through a premature consensus.’
      • ‘Such a struggle can only go forward if it consciously opposes the union bureaucracy and advances a socialist perspective, challenging the very basis of the profit system itself.’
      • ‘By 1969 American society was going through a break and people began opposing the system and the immoral war.’
      • ‘Universities have generally opposed any attempts to organize, arguing that graduate students are students and not employees, and therefore have no right to unionize.’
      • ‘Already in 1926 and 1932 workers had actively opposed the fascist regime, and now some of them were participating in the resistance.’
      • ‘This is precisely why fascists opposed these dictatorships.’
      • ‘They not only failed to understand either the work of art they were accompanying or any of the events it portrayed, but they also actively resisted and opposed the content of the film.’
      be against, object to, be hostile to, be anti, be in opposition to, disagree with, dislike, disapprove of
      resist, take a stand against, put up a fight against, stand up to, take on, fight, withstand, defy, set one's face against, stand up and be counted against, go against, counter, cross, confront, challenge, contend with, attack, counterattack, combat, fly in the face of
      take issue with, contradict, dispute, rebut, argue against, argue with, quarrel with
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    2. 1.2Compete with (someone)
      ‘a candidate to oppose the leader in the presidential contest’
      • ‘I made it known that I was a candidate and nobody thought it worthwhile to oppose me.…’
      • ‘Some people in the party, and many of the candidates who are opposing him for the party's nomination, say he is too left wing to win a U.S. presidential election.’


Late Middle English: from Old French opposer, from Latin opponere (see opponent), but influenced by Latin oppositus set or placed against and Old French poser to place.