Definition of oppose in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Disapprove of and attempt to prevent, especially by argument.

    ‘those of you who oppose capital punishment’
    • ‘Sir W. Foster opposed any attempt to prevent the public from buying cheap food so long as it was wholesome.’
    • ‘The left opposes any attempt to ban such groups.’
    • ‘I thank those members who have opposed it with incoherent arguments.’
    • ‘Neither opposed the Treaty using arguments based on its actual content.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You could see that in the faces of the people there last night and they would obviously oppose any attempt to remove him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anna Zuccari, know as Neera, wrote stories that described the lives of middle-class married women with sad candour; yet she opposed feminist arguments.’
    • ‘Mamabolo opposed the defence argument that there were exceptional circumstances that needed to be considered when judgment was made.’
    • ‘The respondent's argument opposing liability for temporary spousal support took into account only one support objective.’
    • ‘Our national interest is such that we would oppose any attempt to weaken the jurisdiction of coastal states.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This conference opposes all attempts to divide workers on national, ethnic, racial, sexual or religious grounds.’
    • ‘Arguments opposing treatment centred on the supremacy of autonomy as an ethical principle.’
    • ‘I opposed the argument in the public forum and afterwards we went into the Green Room and we continued to chat.’
    • ‘That argument has to be opposed for two reasons.’
    • ‘But I don't think the paper provides any reason for opposing them; the argument has to be conducted on other grounds.’
    • ‘There were also those who opposed Rousseau's argument of women's different nature and argued instead for the social equality of women.’
    • ‘If you oppose ID cards you now also oppose measures to prevent electoral fraud.’
    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. 1.1 Actively resist or refuse to comply with (a person or a system)
      ‘off-roaders who adamantly opposed new trail restrictions’
      • ‘However, a cross-section of commuters, residents and commercial establishment owners are opposing the new system.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By 1969 American society was going through a break and people began opposing the system and the immoral war.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have opposed every attempt to raise the minimum wage over the past two generations.’
      • ‘We are striving to pave the way for a mass political movement throughout Europe that opposes the capitalist system.’
      • ‘Already in 1926 and 1932 workers had actively opposed the fascist regime, and now some of them were participating in the resistance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And they do so while saddled with parties and trade unions that have abandoned all pretence of opposing the profit system.’
      • ‘Universities have generally opposed any attempts to organize, arguing that graduate students are students and not employees, and therefore have no right to unionize.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘James Madison in 1784 opposed an attempt by the Virginia legislature to levy a tax to support religious education.’
      • ‘At the same time, this system was bitterly opposed by the great majority of ordinary people.’
      • ‘They came to oppose attempts by the London fire authority to remove one of the station's two engines.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is precisely why fascists opposed these dictatorships.’
      • ‘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.’
      be against, object to, be hostile to, be anti, be in opposition to, disagree with, dislike, disapprove of
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    2. 1.2 Compete against (someone) in a contest.
      ‘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’.