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po·si·tion (pə-zĭshən)
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n.
1. A place or location.
2.
a. The right or appropriate place: The bands are in position for the parade's start.
b. A strategic area occupied by members of a force: The troops took up positions along the river.
3.
a. The way in which something is placed: the position of the clock's hands.
b. The arrangement of body parts; posture: a standing position.
c. In ballet, any of the five arrangements of the arms and feet in which the legs are turned out from the pelvis.
4. An advantageous place or location: jockeys maneuvering for position.
5. A situation as it relates to the surrounding circumstances: in a position to bargain.
6. A point of view or attitude on a certain question: the mayor's position on taxes.
7. Social standing or status; rank.
8. A post of employment; a job.
9.
a. Sports The area for which a particular player is responsible.
b. The arrangement of the pieces or cards at any particular time in a game such as chess, checkers, or bridge.
10.
a. The act or process of positing.
b. A principle or proposition posited.
11.
a. A commitment to buy or sell a given amount of securities or commodities.
b. The amount of securities or commodities held by a person, firm, or institution.
c. The ownership status of a person's or institution's investments.
tr.v. po·si·tioned, po·si·tion·ing, po·si·tions
1. To put in place or position.
2. To determine the position of; locate.

[Middle English posicioun, from Old French posicion, from Latin positiō, positiōn-, from positus, past participle of pōnere, to place; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

po·sition·al adj.
po·sition·al·ly adv.
po·sition·er n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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