Definition of posture in US English:



  • 1The position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

    ‘he stood in a flamboyant posture with his hands on his hips’
    ‘good posture will protect your spine’
    • ‘His posture improved so much that his clothes no longer fit.’
    • ‘The popularity of the Pilates workout is its potential to change the body shape, stretch and lengthen the muscles, improve the posture and strengthen the conditioning.’
    • ‘The physical exertion and sometimes intense stretching of the standing postures has prepared the body to be able to get maximum benefit from the floor series, most of which focus on the spine.’
    • ‘In the preceding paragraph the natural posture is explained as a standing posture.’
    • ‘Sitting, like other postures, is regulated all around the world according to gender, age, and social status.’
    • ‘An effective free weight program can strengthen your body, enhance your motor skills and improve your posture.’
    • ‘Here's one stretch you can do that will help to strengthen your lower abs and improve your sitting and standing posture.’
    • ‘Yoga practice can help improve your posture, breathing and concentration as well as reducing stress levels.’
    • ‘I did a ten-week course last year, dragging myself to each session, and my posture improved and I learned some useful stuff.’
    • ‘You straighten my posture, leaving standing entirely up to me.’
    • ‘This mild workout helps improve your posture and balance through a combination of strength and flexibility moves.’
    • ‘The standing posture is primarily used as a weight-bearing activity and for blood pressure regulation.’
    • ‘The rods are rigid and the portion of the spine that is fused underneath the rods will be rigid and help improve your sitting posture.’
    • ‘Quite often, simply balancing your sitting posture can reduce mid-back tension.’
    • ‘Part of the rehabilitation process includes minimising the sitting posture, as this places great pressure on the low back.’
    • ‘She assessed my desk, sitting and standing postures, before telling me that I was basically fine, but did I by any chance sleep on my side?’
    • ‘Telling her she should cut her bangs, improve her posture, study harder or eat less between meals is not your business!’
    • ‘The evolution of China's ancient furniture is closely related to the sitting posture of ancient Chinese.’
    • ‘I improved my posture - with my legs more flexed and my upper body more upright, I'm not over the ball as much.’
    • ‘Help may also be had through physiotherapy, advice on improving the posture, use of a soft surgical collar, advice on avoiding bending or stooping and on how best to carry weights.’
    bearing, carriage, comportment, way of sitting, way of standing, stance
    position, pose, attitude, stance
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    1. 1.1Zoology A particular pose adopted by a bird or other animal, interpreted as a signal of a specific pattern of behavior.
      • ‘First, males may incorporate postures that highlight specific color patches during display.’
      • ‘The posture of both birds during duets was nearly horizontal, with the wings typically drooped slightly at the sides.’
      • ‘Mounts were posed in an aggressive posture with wings drooped, tail fanned and beak slightly open, as though they were singing.’
      • ‘Most anurans have external fertilization, and adopt a mating posture called amplexus to insure contact between eggs and sperm.’
      • ‘Fillies began ovulating and advertising estrus by adopting a distinctive posture between one and two years of age.’
  • 2A particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude.

    ‘labor unions adopted a more militant posture in wage negotiations’
    • ‘Arms-length disengagement or a perpetual posture of ‘standing ready to help’ is now woefully inadequate.’
    • ‘Washington's motives are widely distrusted and its various foreign policy postures are viewed suspiciously, even by long-standing allies.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that any set of procedures and presumptions will shape the negotiation and litigation postures of the parties to a custody dispute.’
    • ‘Skepticism is a method of inquiry primarily, not an attitude or posture or philosophical viewpoint that denies entities or phenomena out of hand.’
    • ‘Even before he moves I know how it's going to happen, I've read their postures and attitudes and I already have it planned.’
    attitude, stance, stand, standpoint, view, point of view, viewpoint, opinion, position, way of thinking, frame of mind, outlook, angle, slant, perspective
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    1. 2.1 A particular way of behaving that is intended to convey a false impression; a pose.
      ‘despite pulling back its missiles, the government maintained a defiant posture for home consumption’
      • ‘The premise behind this official posture of neutrality is false.’
      • ‘People of the world are rebuffed by the resulting arrogance and threatening postures, and peace remains elusive.’
      • ‘But the poses - however exquisitely they were realised - seemed just that: self-conscious postures, tasteful concoctions.’
      • ‘She came into the living room and sat in the big arm chair, and I could tell from her posture and expression that she was trying to be cool.’
      • ‘The timbre of his voice, his posture and bearing, gave him an aura of steady authority.’
      • ‘The posture is somehow defiant, although her expression is anything but.’
      appearance, look, expression, face, manner, air, countenance, demeanour, bearing, pose, mien, aspect, exterior, veneer, show, outward show, false display, act, pretence, affectation
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  • 1often as noun posturingno object Behave in a way that is intended to impress or mislead others.

    ‘a masking of fear with macho posturing’
    • ‘Unity, when it comes naturally, would be of far more value to the Party and the country as a whole, if it is meaningful and not simply posturing to impress the masses.’
    • ‘The law firm holiday parties have been blowing and going since mid-month in a near-blizzard of big-bucks spending and legal-eagle posturing.’
    • ‘I find the only way to challenge the chauvinism, sexism, sexual innuendo and macho posturing there, is to be more rude and more graphic than the guys.’
    • ‘If ministers and their statutory bodies really want this review to have any credibility, they must stop posturing and place an immediate moratorium on all wind farm developments pending its completion.’
    • ‘Peace was the mission of idealistic youth movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the cause of peace may even have been hurt by overdone sloganeering and posturing.’
    • ‘Linking the entertainment industry and violence is misleading, he said, and plays into election-year posturing.’
    • ‘In this way we shall proceed with the good of students at the centre and not revert to posturing - on both sides.’
    • ‘On such occasions, these episodes were usually settled by negotiations in which, after posturing on both sides, the Chinese acquiesced to a modified set of Japanese demands.’
    • ‘The big issues - such as the kind of economy we want and the extent to which the state should provide for its people - are scarcely debated in parliament; all that is left is the jostling and posturing.’
    • ‘Enough of this pseudo-intellectual posturing, these pretentious literary musings!’
    • ‘When we arrived in Paris, we searched in vain for evidence of its anti-American posturing, its supposed rudeness to all who fail to be Parisian and its intolerance of any language other than its own.’
    • ‘Their idea of ‘democratisation’ is in fact little more than posturing, designed to boost their own moral authority rather than install anything like democracy around the world.’
    • ‘It's the extreme confidence - not arrogance - and posturing that does it.’
    • ‘Many people were disquieted about the macho posturing about the fire-fighters.’
    • ‘I was struck by a number of the congressmen and senators who seemed to be less interested in pursuing a line of question than posturing for themselves or in the interests of the secretary.’
    • ‘Please clearly understand that the contents of this correspondence are not open for negotiation or reference to any third party and the company is not posturing.’
    • ‘Revisionist history and silly displays of pro-feminism posturing, liberal agendas and the whitewashing of historical figures and places has no place in public education.’
    pose, strike an attitude, put on airs, attitudinize, behave affectedly, strut
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    1. 1.1with object Adopt (a certain attitude) so as to impress or mislead.
      ‘the companies may posture regret, but they have a vested interest in increasing Third World sales’
      • ‘In article one, we learned about posturing ourselves wisely to make friends.’
      • ‘I wondered if she was posturing herself like that on purpose.’
      • ‘The film's web site is remarkably preachy, posturing the movie as a landmark in the battle against sexual harassment.’
      • ‘The Army Campaign Plan provides the necessary strategic vision and direction to execute today's missions while posturing the Army for the future.’
  • 2archaic with object and adverbial Place (someone) in a particular attitude or pose.

    ‘and still these two were postured motionless’
    • ‘In a rarely seen move, she postures the father with his back to the audience as soon as the diplomat proposes the arrangement.’


Late 16th century (denoting the relative position of one thing to another): from French, from Italian postura, from Latin positura ‘position’, from posit- ‘placed’, from the verb ponere.