Preposition Definition

preposition, pre-positioning, prepositions
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)
Webster's New World
Any construction of similar function (Ex.: in back of, equivalent to behind)
Webster's New World

(grammar) Any of a closed class of non-inflecting words typically employed to connect a noun or a pronoun, in an adjectival or adverbial sense, with some other word: a particle used with a noun or pronoun (in English always in the objective case) to make a phrase limiting some other word.

To position or place in position in advance.
Artillery that was prepositioned at strategic points in the desert.
American Heritage
To place in a location before some other event occurs.
It is important to preposition the material before turning on the machine.

Other Word Forms of Preposition



Origin of Preposition

  • 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 apo- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • From pre- + position

    From Wiktionary


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