Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Apposite

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

What It Means

Apposite is used to describe what is very appropriate, or what is suitable for an occasion or situation. It is a synonym of apt.

// Before sending the final draft of his novel to his editor, Lyle searched for an apposite quotation that could serve as the book’s epigraph.

APPOSITE in Context

“The fact that Apple can make these stories, many of which have been told before, feel so immediate is a testament to his canny knack for choosing apposite details.” — Seth Mnookin, The New York Times, 6 Jun. 2021

Did You Know?

Apposite and opposite sound so much alike that you would expect them to have a common ancestor—and they do: the Latin verb pōnere, which means “to place, set.” The prefixes that we see in the pair, ap- and op-, specify the kind of placement. Apposite is from appōnere, meaning “to place near,” and opposite is from oppōnere, one meaning of which is “to place (over or against).” Opposite is of course the far more common word, but apposite is useful too and is, ahem, apposite in descriptions of what is very appropriate or suitable for something, as in “an apposite comment.”

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