a. A position of a person's body or body parts: a sitting posture; the posture of a supplicant.
b. A characteristic way of bearing one's body; carriage: stooped posture.
2. Zoology A position of an animal's body or body parts, especially for the purpose of communication: a dog's submissive posture.
3. Relative placement or arrangement: the posture of the buildings on the land.
4. A condition or state under certain circumstances: the nation's posture in the world economy.
a. An attitude or way of behaving, especially when adopted to have an effect on others: assumed a posture of angry defiance.
b. An approach or policy with regard to something: adjusting the government's defense posture.
v. pos·tured, pos·tur·ing, pos·tures
1. To assume a certain, often exaggerated body position; pose.
2. To assume a certain attitude or behave in a certain way, especially to make an impression or gain an advantage: "They postured as Southern Loyalists to win the support of ex-Confederates" (James M. Smallwood).
3. Zoology To assume a certain position of the body or of body parts, often as part of a display.
1. To put into a specific posture; pose: The photographer postured the model.
2. To place in a certain arrangement or condition: an army that was postured for defense.
[French, from Italian postura, from Latin positūra, position, from positus, past participle of pōnere, to place; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
postur·er, postur·ist n.
Synonyms: posture, attitude, carriage, pose1, stance
These nouns denote a position of the body and limbs: erect posture; an attitude of prayer; dignified carriage; a reclining pose; an athlete's alert stance.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.