- 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."
preposition definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Middle English preposicioun ; from Classical Latin praepositio (; from praepositus, past participle of praeponere ; from prae-, before plush ponere, to place: see pre- and amp; position): translated, translation of Classical Greek prothesis, prothesis
preposition definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun Abbr. prep.
Origin: Middle 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 18th century refined the doctrine, and the rule has since become one of the most venerated maxims of schoolroom grammar. But sentences ending with prepositions can be found in the works of most of the great writers since the Renaissance. English syntax does allow for final placement of the preposition, as in We have much to be thankful for or I asked her which course she had signed up for. Efforts to rewrite such sentences to place the preposition elsewhere can have stilted and even comical results, as Winston Churchill demonstrated when he objected to the doctrine by saying “This is the sort of English up with which I cannot put.” • Sometimes sentences that end with adverbs, such as I don't know where she will end up or It's the most curious book I've ever run across, are mistakenly thought to end in prepositions. One can tell that up and across are adverbs here, not prepositions, by the ungrammaticality of I don't know up where she will end and It's the most curious book across which I have ever run. It has never been suggested that it is incorrect to end a sentence with an adverb.
also pre-po·si·tiontransitive verb pre·po·si·tioned also pre-po·si·tioned, pre·po·si·tion·ing also pre-po·si·tion·ing, pre·po·si·tions also pre-po·si·tions
preposition - Cultural Definition
A part of speech that indicates the relationship, often spatial, of one word to another. For example, “She paused at the gate”; “This tomato is ripe for picking”; and “They talked the matter over head to head.” Some common prepositions are at, by, for, from, in, into, on, to, and with.