- The definition of a preposition is a word or phrase that connects a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence.
An example of preposition is the word "with" in the following; "I'm going with her."
- in some languages, a relation or function word, as English in, by, for, with, to, etc., that connects a lexical word, usually a noun or pronoun, or a syntactic construction, to another element of the sentence, as to a verb (Ex.: he went to the store), to a noun (Ex.: the sound of loud music), or to an adjective (Ex.: good for her)
- any construction of similar function (Ex.: in back of, equivalent to behind)
Origin of prepositionMiddle English preposicioun ; from Classical Latin praepositio (; from praepositus, past participle of praeponere ; from prae-, before + ponere, to place: see pre- and amp; position): translated, translation of Classical Greek prothesis, prothesis
Origin of prepositionMiddle English preposicioun, from Old French preposicion, from Latin praepositiō, praepositiōn-, a putting before, preposition (translation of Greek prothesis), from praepositus, past participle of praepōnere, to put in front : prae-, pre- + pōnere, to put; see apo- in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: It was John Dryden who first promulgated the doctrine that a preposition may not be used at the end of a sentence, probably on the basis of a specious analogy to Latin. Grammarians in the 1700s refined the doctrine, and the rule became a venerated maxim of schoolroom grammar. There has been some retreat from this position in recent years, however—what amounts to a recognition of the frequency with which prepositions end sentences in English. In fact, English syntax not only allows but sometimes even requires final placement of the preposition, as in We have much to be thankful for and That depends on what you believe in. Efforts to rewrite such sentences to place the preposition elsewhere can have stilted and even comical results, as is demonstrated in the saying (often attributed, probably falsely, to Winston Churchill) “This is the kind of pedantic nonsense up with which I will not put.” • Even sticklers for the traditional rule can have no grounds for criticizing sentences such as I don't know where she will end up and It's the most curious book I've ever run across. In these examples, up and across are adverbs (or more properly, what linguists call particles), not prepositions. One sure sign that this is so is that these examples cannot be transformed into sentences with prepositional phrases. It is simply not grammatical English to say I don't know up where she will end and It's the most curious book across which I have ever run.
transitive verbpre·po·si·tioned, pre·po·si·tion·ing, pre·po·si·tions also pre-po·si·tioned or pre-po·si·tion·ing or pre-po·si·tions
From Latin praepositio, from praeponere (to place before); prae (before) + ponere (to put, place); compare French préposition. (See position, and compare provost.) So called because it is usually placed before the word with which it is phrased, as in a bridge of iron, he comes from town, it is good for food, he escaped by running.
(third-person singular simple present prepositions, present participle prepositioning, simple past and past participle prepositioned)
- To place in a location before some other event occurs.
- It is important to preposition the material before turning on the machine.
From pre- + position