Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Juxtapose

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The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is juxtapose. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Juxtapose means “to place (different things) side by side (as to compare them or contrast them or to create an interesting effect).”

// The committee juxtaposed the proposals for the new student center, trying to determine which would better meet the needs of the university.

JUXTAPOSE in Context

“There’s the original wooden floorboards juxtaposing … a glossy, stop-and-stare, curved timber wall that extends from behind the counter to the ceiling above.” — Anooska Tucker-Evans, The Courier Mail (Australia), 19 Mar. 2022

Did You Know?

back-formation is a word that has come about through the removal of a prefix or a suffix from a longer word. Etymologists believe juxtapose is a back-formation that was created when people trimmed down the noun juxtaposition. Historical evidence supports the idea: juxtaposition shows up in the 17th century and juxtapose in the 19th.  Juxtaposition is a combination of Latin juxta, meaning “near,” and English “position.”

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