follow Dictionary.com

How do you spell Hannukah?

preposition1

[prep-uh-zish-uh n] /ˌprɛp əˈzɪʃ ən/
noun, Grammar
1.
any member of a class of words found in many languages that are used before nouns, pronouns, or other substantives to form phrases functioning as modifiers of verbs, nouns, or adjectives, and that typically express a spatial, temporal, or other relationship, as in, on, by, to, since.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English preposicioun < Latin praepositiōn- (stem of praepositiō) a putting before, a prefix, preposition. See pre-, position
Related forms
prepositional, adjective
prepositionally, adverb
nonprepositional, adjective
nonprepositionally, adverb
quasi-prepositional, adjective
quasi-prepositionally, adverb
Can be confused
preposition, proposition.
Usage note
The often heard but misleading “rule” that a sentence should not end with a preposition is transferred from Latin, where it is an accurate description of practice. But English grammar is different from Latin grammar, and the rule does not fit English. In speech, the final preposition is normal and idiomatic, especially in questions: What are we waiting for? Where did he come from? You didn't tell me which floor you worked on. In writing, the problem of placing the preposition arises most when a sentence ends with a relative clause in which the relative pronoun (that; whom; which; whomever; whichever; whomsoever) is the object of a preposition. In edited writing, especially more formal writing, when a pronoun other than that introduces a final relative clause, the preposition usually precedes its object: He abandoned the project to which he had devoted his whole life. I finally telephoned the representative with whom I had been corresponding. If the pronoun is that, which cannot be preceded by a preposition, or if the pronoun is omitted, then the preposition must occur at the end: The librarian found the books that the child had scribbled in. There is the woman he spoke of.

preposition2

[pree-puh-zish-uh n] /ˌpri pəˈzɪʃ ən/
verb (used with object)
1.
to position in advance or beforehand:
to preposition troops in anticipated trouble spots.
Also, pre-position.
Origin
1960-65; pre- + position
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for preposition
  • The sentence-ending preposition rule is an invented bit of silliness rightly ignored by many excellent publications.
  • That sentence is grammatically incorrect because it ends with a preposition.
  • One thing I was taught, never end a sentence with a preposition.
  • They don't seem to understand that a preposition actually conveys information.
  • Because he is the subjective case of the third-person male pronoun, it cannot be the object of the preposition to.
  • This article has a syntactic error; being preceded by a preposition, like 'over', is not sufficient to turn a 'who' into a 'whom'.
  • You cannot have a logical discussion when you're so frustrated you forget the preposition in a prepositional phrase.
  • Functional shift has reversed the order of these verbs plus a preposition and turned the combinations into adjectives.
  • The word should be "whoever", of course, as the subject of the clause; the clause as a whole is the object of the preposition"of".
  • It's also pretty common to end sentences with a preposition, if the sentence would otherwise sound too formal.
British Dictionary definitions for preposition

preposition

/ˌprɛpəˈzɪʃən/
noun
1.
a word or group of words used before a noun or pronoun to relate it grammatically or semantically to some other constituent of a sentence prep
Derived Forms
prepositional, adjective
prepositionally, adverb
Usage note
The practice of ending a sentence with a preposition (Venice is a place I should like to go to) was formerly regarded as incorrect, but is now acceptable and is the preferred form in many contexts
Word Origin
C14: from Latin praepositiō a putting before, from pōnere to place
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for preposition
n.

late 14c., from Latin praepositionem (nominative praepositio) "a putting before, a prefixing," noun of action from past participle stem of praeponere "put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponere "put, set, place" (see position (n.)). In grammatical use, a loan-translation of Greek prothesis, literally "a setting before."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
preposition in Culture

preposition definition


A part of speech that indicates the relationship, often spatial, of one word to another. For example, “She paused at the gate”; “This tomato is ripe for picking”; and “They talked the matter over head to head.” Some common prepositions are at, by, for, from, in, into, on, to, and with.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for preposition

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for preposition

15
18
Scrabble Words With Friends