“apposite” and “opposite”

The two words have totally different meanings. We all know what “opposite” means. When you say that your brother is the opposite of you, what you mean is that he is very different from you. “Apposite”, on the other hand, means “appropriate” or “relevant”. When you say that something is apposite, what you are implying is that it is suitable to what is happening or being discussed. The “a” in the first syllable is like the “a” in “apple”. The word is considered to be formal. Both “opposite” and “apposite” have the stress on the first syllable.

*The argument that the student came up with was apposite to the case. *It was Amrit who came up with an apposite title for the book.

The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, November 22, 2004

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One thought on ““apposite” and “opposite”

  1. I am a native English speaker (well-read, B.S. in Economics, etc.), and I had NEVER heard of ‘apposite’ before tonight–I came across the word in a Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Send_in_the_Clowns), and I had to do a Google search to see how prevalent the word is.

    If you are learning English, don’t use ‘apposite’ in conversation, as people will think you are misusing (and mis-pronouncing) ‘opposite.’

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