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[puh-zish-uh n] /pəˈzɪʃ ən/
condition with reference to place; location; situation.
a place occupied or to be occupied; site:
a fortified position.
the proper, appropriate, or usual place:
out of position.
situation or condition, especially with relation to favorable or unfavorable circumstances:
to be in an awkward position; to bargain from a position of strength.
status or standing:
He has a position to maintain in the community.
high standing, as in society; important status:
a person of wealth and position.
a post of employment:
a position in a bank.
manner of being placed, disposed, or arranged:
the relative position of the hands of a clock.
bodily posture or attitude:
to be in a sitting position.
mental attitude; stand:
one's position on a controversial topic.
the act of positing.
something that is posited.
Ballet. any of the five basic positions of the feet with which every step or movement begins and ends.
  1. the arrangement of tones in a chord, especially with regard to the location of the root tone in a triad or to the distance of the tones from each other.
  2. any of the places on the fingerboard of a stringed instrument where the fingers stop the strings to produce the variouspitches.
  3. any of the places to which the slide of a trombone is shifted to produce changes in pitch.
Finance. a commitment to buy or sell securities:
He took a large position in defense stocks.
Classical Prosody. the situation of a short vowel before two or more consonants or their equivalent, making the syllable metrically long.
verb (used with object)
to put in a particular or appropriate position; place.
to determine the position of; locate.
1325-75; Middle English posicioun a positing (< Anglo-French) < Latin positiōn- (stem of positiō) a placing, etc. See posit, -ion
Related forms
positional, adjective
positionless, adjective
misposition, verb (used with object)
well-positioned, adjective
2. station, locality, spot. 5. rank. 7. Position, job, place, situation refer to a post of employment. Position is any employment, though usually above manual labor: a position as clerk. Job is colloquial for position, and applies to any work from lowest to highest in an organization: a job as cook, as manager. Place and situation are both mainly used today in reference to a position that is desired or being applied for; situation is the general word in the business world: Situations Wanted; place is used rather of domestic employment: He is looking for a place as a gardener. 8. placement, disposition, array, arrangement. 9. Position, posture, attitude, pose refer to an arrangement or disposal of the body or its parts. Position is the general word for the arrangement of the body: in a reclining position. Posture is usually an assumed arrangement of the body, especially when standing: a relaxed posture. Attitude is often a posture assumed for imitative effect or the like, but may be one adopted for a purpose (as that of a fencer or a tightrope walker): an attitude of prayer. A pose is an attitude assumed, in most cases, for artistic effect: an attractive pose. 12. proposition, hypothesis, postulate, thesis; dictum, assertion, predication, contention; doctrine, principle. 17. situate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for positions
  • There were only a limited number of positions which would have worked for dinosaurs.
  • Still, there are only a limited number of positions that could have worked for the dinosaurs.
  • Rick, good points about the trams and the army positions.
  • It has always been difficult for paleontologists to find work, but these days there is an ever-dwindling number of positions.
  • That's fine for sending data such as cell phone positions, a process that requires little energy.
  • While he positions himself as a supporter of books, he points out some new apps on the market that may make cookbooks obsolete.
  • Supervision of students in internships and undergraduate research may also be expected in some positions.
  • These positions are contingent on availability of the funds at the time of hire.
  • Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.
  • Nothing could be more subtle than the turn by which their relative positions are reversed.
British Dictionary definitions for positions


the place, situation, or location of a person or thing: he took up a position to the rear
the appropriate or customary location: the telescope is in position for use
the arrangement or disposition of the body or a part of the body: the corpse was found in a sitting position
the manner in which a person or thing is placed; arrangement
(military) an area or point occupied for tactical reasons
mental attitude; point of view; stand: what's your position on this issue?
social status or standing, esp high social standing
a post of employment; job
the act of positing a fact or viewpoint
something posited, such as an idea, proposition, etc
(sport) the part of a field or playing area where a player is placed or where he generally operates
  1. the vertical spacing or layout of the written notes in a chord. Chords arranged with the three upper voices close together are in close position. Chords whose notes are evenly or widely distributed are in open position See also root position
  2. one of the points on the fingerboard of a stringed instrument, determining where a string is to be stopped
(in classical prosody)
  1. the situation in which a short vowel may be regarded as long, that is, when it occurs before two or more consonants
  2. make position, (of a consonant, either on its own or in combination with other consonants, such as x in Latin) to cause a short vowel to become metrically long when placed after it
(finance) the market commitment of a dealer in securities, currencies, or commodities: a long position, a short position
(foll by an infinitive) in a position, able (to): I'm not in a position to reveal these figures
verb (transitive)
to put in the proper or appropriate place; locate
(sport) to place (oneself or another player) in a particular part of the field or playing area
to put (someone or something) in a position (esp in relation to others) that confers a strategic advantage: he's trying to position himself for a leadership bid
(marketing) to promote (a product or service) by tailoring it to the needs of a specific market or by clearly differentiating it from its competitors (e.g. in terms of price or quality)
(rare) to locate or ascertain the position of
Derived Forms
positional, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin positiō a positioning, affirmation, from pōnere to place, lay down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for positions



late 14c., as a term in logic and philosophy, from Old French posicion "position, supposition" (Modern French position), from Latin positionem (nominative positio) "act or fact of placing, situation, position, affirmation," noun of state from past participle stem of ponere "put, place," from PIE *po-s(i)nere, from *apo- "off, away" (see apo-) + *sinere "to leave, let" (see site).

Meaning "proper place occupied by a person or thing" is from 1540s. Meaning "manner in which some physical thing is arranged or posed" first recorded 1703; specifically in reference to dance steps, 1778, sexual intercourse, 1883. Meaning "official station, employment" is from 1890.


1670s, "to assume a position (intransitive), from position (n.). Transitive sense of "to put in a particular position" is recorded from 1817. Related: Positioned; positioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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positions in Medicine

position po·si·tion (pə-zĭsh'ən)

  1. A place occupied.

  2. A bodily attitude or posture, especially a posture assumed by a patient to facilitate the performance of diagnostic, surgical, or therapeutic procedures.

  3. The relation of an arbitrarily chosen portion of the fetus to the right or left side of the mother.

position v.
po·si'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for positions


in Greek or Latin prosody, the condition of having a short vowel followed by two consonants or a double consonant (such as -pp- in the Greek word hippos), which makes its syllable long. Such a syllable is said to be long by position, in contrast to a syllable having a long vowel or a diphthong, which is said to be long by nature.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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