Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese

definitions - Apposition

apposition (n.)

1.the act of positioning close together (or side by side)"it is the result of the juxtaposition of contrasting colors"

2.(biology) growth in the thickness of a cell wall by the deposit of successive layers of material

3.a grammatical relation between a word and a noun phrase that follows"`Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer' is an example of apposition"

   Advertizing ▼

Merriam Webster

AppositionAp`po*si"tion (�), n. [L. appositio, fr. apponere: cf. F. apposition. See Apposite.]
1. The act of adding; application; accretion.

It grows . . . by the apposition of new matter. Arbuthnot.

2. The putting of things in juxtaposition, or side by side; also, the condition of being so placed.

3. (Gram.) The state of two nouns or pronouns, put in the same case, without a connecting word between them; as, I admire Cicero, the orator. Here, the second noun explains or characterizes the first.

Growth by apposition (Physiol.), a mode of growth characteristic of non vascular tissues, in which nutritive matter from the blood is transformed on the surface of an organ into solid unorganized substance.

   Advertizing ▼

definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Apposition

apposition (n.)

collocation, juxtaposition

see also - Apposition

apposition (n.)

appositional, appositive


analogical dictionary


MESH root[Thème]

apposition [MeSH]




Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to define or modify the other. When this device is used, the two elements are said to be in apposition. For example, in the phrase "my friend Alice", the name "Alice" is in apposition to "my friend".

Traditionally, appositions were called by their Latin name appositio, although the English form is now more commonly used. It is derived from Latin: ad ("near") and positio ("placement").

Apposition is a figure of speech of the scheme type, and often results when the verbs (particularly verbs of being) in supporting clauses are eliminated to produce shorter descriptive phrases. This makes them often function as hyperbatons, or figures of disorder, because they can disrupt the flow of a sentence. For example, in the phrase: "My wife, a nurse by training, ...", it is necessary to pause before the parenthetical modification "a nurse by training".


  Restrictive versus non-restrictive

Apposition can either be restrictive, or non-restrictive where the second element parenthetically modifies the first.

In a non-restrictive appositive, the second element parenthetically modifies the first without changing its scope. Non-restrictive appositives are not crucial to the meaning of the sentence. In a restrictive appositive, the second element limits or clarifies the foregoing one in some crucial way. For example in the phrase "my friend Alice", "Alice" specifies to which friend the speaker is referring and is therefore restrictive. On the other hand, in the above example: "my wife, a nurse by training, ..." the parenthetical "a nurse by training" does not narrow down the subject, but rather provides additional information about the subject, namely, "my wife". In English, a non-restrictive appositive must be preceded or set off by commas, while a restrictive appositive is not set off by commas.[1]

Not all restrictive clauses are appositives. For example, Alice in "Bill's friend Alice ..." is an appositive noun; Alice in "Bill's friend, whose name is Alice, ..." is not an appositive but, rather, the predicate of a restrictive clause. The main difference between the two is that the second explicitly states what an apposition would omit: that the friend in question is named Alice. If the meaning is clear "Bill's friend Alice" can be used ("Bill was here with his friend. [other remarks] Bill's friend Alice...").

The same words can change from restrictive to non-restrictive (or vice versa) depending on the speaker and context. Consider the phrase "my brother Nathan". If the speaker has more than one brother, the name Nathan is restrictive as it clarifies which brother. However, if the speaker has only one brother, then the brother's name is parenthetical and the correct way to write it is: "my brother, Nathan, ...". If it is not known which is the case, it is safer to omit the commas: "John's brother Nathan" is acceptable whether or not John has more brothers, unlike "John's brother, Nathan".


In the following examples, the appositive phrases are offset in italics:

  • Barry Goldwater, the junior senator from Arizona, received the Republican nomination in 1964.
  • John and Bob, both friends of mine, are starting a band.
  • Alexander the Great, the Macedonian conqueror of Persia, was one of the most successful military commanders of the ancient world.
  • Dean Martin, a very popular singer, will be performing at the Sands Hotel.

A kind of appositive phrase that has caused controversy is the "false title", as in "United States Deputy Marshal Jim Hall said Tuesday that fatally wounded Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Matthews told him that fugitive tax protester Gordon W. Kahl was dead before other law enforcement officials started shooting."[2] Such phrases are usually non-restrictive, as in the above example.

  Appositive genitive

In several languages, the same syntax which is used to express such relations as possession can also be used appositively. Examples include:

  • In English:
    • "Appositive oblique", a prepositional phrase with of as in: the month of December, the sin of pride, or the City of New York. This has also been invoked as an explanation for the double genitive: a friend of mine.[3]
    • The ending -'s as in "In Dublin's Fair City". This is uncommon.
  • In classical Greek:
    • "Genitive of explanation" as in ὑὸς μέγα χρῆμα (hyòs méga chrêma), "a monster (great affair) of a boar" (Histories (Herodotus) 1.36);[4]
  • In Japanese:
  • In Biblical Hebrew:

  See also


  1. ^ "Commas: Some Common Problems", Princeton Writing Program, Princeton University, 1999, princeton.edu/writing/center/resources/.
  2. ^ Reed, Roy (July 25, 1987). "Titles That Aren't Titles". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/07/25/opinion/titles-that-aren-t-titles.html?sec=&spon=. Retrieved 2009-05-23 . According to that site, a version of the article appeared in the New York Times, July 5, 1987, p. 31. The sentence is quoted from the Arkansas Gazette.
  3. ^ Chapter 5, §14.3 (pages 447–448), Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-43146-8
  4. ^ §1322 (pages 317–318), Herbert Weir Smyth, revised by Gordon M. Messing, Greek Grammar, Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1956 Perseus Digital Library
  5. ^ §9.5.3h (p. 153), Bruce K. Waltke and M. O'Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1990. ISBN 0-931464-31-5


  • A comprehensive treatment of apposition in English is given in §§17.65–93 (pages 1300–1320) and elsewhere in: Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik (1985). A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London and New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-51734-6. 
  • On the apposition vs. double subject issue in Romanian, see: Appositions Versus Double Subject Sentences – What Information the Speech Analysis Brings to a Grammar Debate, by Horia-Nicolai Teodorescu and Diana Trandabăţ. In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer Berlin, Heidelberg, ISSN 0302-9743, Volume 4629/2007, "Text, Speech and Dialogue", pp. 286–293.

  External links



All translations of Apposition

sensagent's content

  • definitions
  • synonyms
  • antonyms
  • encyclopedia

Dictionary and translator for handheld

⇨ New : sensagent is now available on your handheld

   Advertising ▼

sensagent's office

Shortkey or widget. Free.

Windows Shortkey: sensagent. Free.

Vista Widget : sensagent. Free.

Webmaster Solution


A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !

Try here  or   get the code


With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.

Business solution

Improve your site content

Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.

Crawl products or adds

Get XML access to reach the best products.

Index images and define metadata

Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.

Please, email us to describe your idea.


The English word games are:
○   Anagrams
○   Wildcard, crossword
○   Lettris
○   Boggle.


Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.


Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !

English dictionary
Main references

Most English definitions are provided by WordNet .
English thesaurus is mainly derived from The Integral Dictionary (TID).
English Encyclopedia is licensed by Wikipedia (GNU).


The wordgames anagrams, crossword, Lettris and Boggle are provided by Memodata.
The web service Alexandria is granted from Memodata for the Ebay search.
The SensagentBox are offered by sensAgent.


Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.

last searches on the dictionary :

3549 online visitors

computed in 0.062s

I would like to report:
section :
a spelling or a grammatical mistake
an offensive content(racist, pornographic, injurious, etc.)
a copyright violation
an error
a missing statement
please precise:



Company informations

My account



   Advertising ▼

Apposition in Contemporary Eng - Meyer, Charles F. (117.93 USD)

Commercial use of this term