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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), equivalent to pre- +‎ position. 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, John Oliver (actor), via 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, edited by Sir Henry Ellis, 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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See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

pre- +‎ position

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹiːpəˌzɪʃən/
    • (file)


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]