Definition of oppose in English:



  • 1Disapprove of and attempt to prevent, especially by argument.

    ‘those of you who oppose capital punishment’
    • ‘Mamabolo opposed the defence argument that there were exceptional circumstances that needed to be considered when judgment was made.’
    • ‘I thank those members who have opposed it with incoherent arguments.’
    • ‘Sir W. Foster opposed any attempt to prevent the public from buying cheap food so long as it was wholesome.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This conference opposes all attempts to divide workers on national, ethnic, racial, sexual or religious grounds.’
    • ‘There were also those who opposed Rousseau's argument of women's different nature and argued instead for the social equality of women.’
    • ‘But I don't think the paper provides any reason for opposing them; the argument has to be conducted on other grounds.’
    • ‘Anna Zuccari, know as Neera, wrote stories that described the lives of middle-class married women with sad candour; yet she opposed feminist arguments.’
    • ‘You could see that in the faces of the people there last night and they would obviously oppose any attempt to remove him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you oppose ID cards you now also oppose measures to prevent electoral fraud.’
    • ‘The left opposes any attempt to ban such groups.’
    • ‘I opposed the argument in the public forum and afterwards we went into the Green Room and we continued to chat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The respondent's argument opposing liability for temporary spousal support took into account only one support objective.’
    • ‘Arguments opposing treatment centred on the supremacy of autonomy as an ethical principle.’
    • ‘That argument has to be opposed for two reasons.’
    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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is precisely why fascists opposed these dictatorships.’
      • ‘We are striving to pave the way for a mass political movement throughout Europe that opposes the capitalist system.’
      • ‘At the same time, this system was bitterly opposed by the great majority of ordinary people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Already in 1926 and 1932 workers had actively opposed the fascist regime, and now some of them were participating in the resistance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Several students have opposed the attempts to divert the campaign along divisive communal lines.’
      • ‘Black had already gained a reputation for opposing the liquor trade.’
      • ‘James Madison in 1784 opposed an attempt by the Virginia legislature to levy a tax to support religious education.’
      • ‘I resisted, opposing the movement with my whole self.’
      • ‘By 1969 American society was going through a break and people began opposing the system and the immoral war.’
      • ‘We should oppose these attempts to force through a premature consensus.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’.