assume the position

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assume the position (third-person singular simple present assumes the position, present participle assuming the position, simple past and past participle assumed the position)

  1. Often used other than figuratively or idiomatically: to assume a given position.
    • 1842, Daniel Davis et al., Davis's Manual of Magnetism:
      Now in this case, if the suspended bar were acted upon solely by the north pole of the magnet, it would assume the position AB
    • 1998, Nomination of Kevin Gover: Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate:
      President Clinton's nominee to assume the position of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior []
  2. (idiomatic, US, law enforcement) To turn away, with one's hands in a visible and unmovable position, so that one can be searched.
    • 2002, James Harper Walker, Inside Your Local Police:
      A day or two later we took down another seller and this time the rookie performs the search. Assume the position! he tells the guy. So the guy leans against the side of the car.
  3. (idiomatic, UK, punishment) Often used as an order to bend over, for example, to receive the traditional corporal punishment in a case of misbehaviour.