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[pri-pos-ter-uh s, -truh s] /prɪˈpɒs tər əs, -trəs/
completely contrary to nature, reason, or common sense; absurd; senseless; utterly foolish:
a preposterous tale.
1535-45; < Latin praeposterus with the hinder part foremost. See pre-, posterior, -ous
Related forms
preposterously, adverb
preposterousness, noun
unpreposterous, adjective
unpreposterously, adverb
unpreposterousness, noun
unreasonable, excessive, ridiculous. See absurd. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preposterously
  • He does not take the preposterously premature leadership talk seriously.
  • He realized that omega did not have to be preposterously fine-tuned from the start.
  • Then for your means to advancement--there it is simple, and not preposterously mixt.
  • The cooking arrangements were preposterously inadequate, and the laundry was a farce.
  • But if welfare recipients are viewed as a way to plug a gap in school staffing, the plan seems preposterously optimistic.
British Dictionary definitions for preposterously


contrary to nature, reason, or sense; absurd; ridiculous
Derived Forms
preposterously, adverb
preposterousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin praeposterus reversed, from prae in front, before + posterus following
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for preposterously



1540s, from Latin praeposterus "absurd, contrary to nature, inverted, perverted, in reverse order," literally "before-behind" (cf. topsy-turvy, cart before the horse), from prae "before" + posterus "subsequent." Related: Preposterously; preposterousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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