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From Latin praeposterus (with the hinder part before, reversed, inverted, perverted), from prae (before) + posterus (coming after).


preposterous (comparative more preposterous, superlative most preposterous)

  1. Absurd, or contrary to common sense.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 16, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The preposterous altruism too! [] Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.
    • 2014 December 4, Timothy Egan, “A deficit of dignity”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Leading the attack on the president's very citizenship is the professional vulgarian Donald Trump, who gets away with the kind of preposterous, race-based comments granted few black public figures.
    • 2016 January 30, "America deserves more from presidential hopefuls," The National (retrieved 31 January 2016):
      Democrats, too, must be criticised. While they have not made preposterous statements or been threatening or demagogic, they, all too often, have come up short, failing to propose new ideas that can help unwind conflicts raging across the Middle East.



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