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See also: préposition


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English preposicioun, from Old French preposicion, from Latin praepositio, praepositionem, from praepono (to place before). Compare French préposition. So called because it is 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.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: prĕp-ə-zĭsh'ən, IPA(key): /ˌpɹɛpəˈzɪʃən/
  • (file)


Examples (strict sense)
  • under the table
  • in my pocket
  • past noon

preposition (plural prepositions)

  1. (grammar, strict sense) Any of a class of non-inflecting words typically employed to connect a following 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.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 9, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 495:
      And in (121) below, we see that when a wh-NP is used as the Object of a Preposition, the whole Prepositional Phrase can undergo WH MOVEMENT:
      (121) (a)      [To whom] can I send this letter —?
      (121) (b)      [About what] are they quarrelling —?
      (121) (c)      [In which book] did you read about it —?
    • 2014 June 1, “Net Neutrality”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 1, episode 5, HBO:
      I love this girl. “On which I can get my hands” — even in her darkest moment, she cannot bring herself to end a sentence with a preposition.
  2. (grammar, broad sense) An adposition.
  3. (obsolete) A proposition; an exposition; a discourse.
    • 1811 [1516], Robert Fabyan, Sir Henry Ellis, editor, The New Chronicles of England and France[1], page 116:
      [] he made a longe preposicion & oracion cōcernynge yͤ allegiaūce which he exortyd his lordes to owe
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Etymology 2[edit]

pre- +‎ position

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹiːpəˌzɪʃən/


preposition (third-person singular simple present prepositions, present participle prepositioning, simple past and past participle prepositioned)

  1. To place in a location before some other event occurs.
    It is important to preposition the material before turning on the machine.




  1. genitive singular of prepositio



preposition (plural prepositiones)

  1. (grammar) A word that is used in conjunction with a noun or pronoun in order to form a phrase.



preposition c

  1. a preposition (part of speech)


Declension of preposition 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative preposition prepositionen prepositioner prepositionerna
Genitive prepositions prepositionens prepositioners prepositionernas

Related terms[edit]