To oppose something is to go against it or fight hard to stop it. A senator might oppose a bill, or a teen might oppose authority.

Words starting with opp-, like opposite, opponent, and oppose, usually hint that there's a disagreement somewhere. You might oppose a decision if you don't agree with it or if it's the opposite of what you believe or know is right. Sometimes, though, to oppose just means to be on the other team.

Definitions of oppose

v be against; express opposition to

“We oppose the ban on abortion”
contend, contest, repugn
to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
challenge, dispute, gainsay
take exception to
Type of:
argue, contend, debate, fence
have an argument about something

v be resistant to

“The board opposed his motion”
contradict, controvert
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blackball, negative, veto
vote against; refuse to endorse; refuse to assent
dissent, protest, resist
express opposition through action or words
strike, walk out
stop work in order to press demands
defeat, kill, shoot down, vote down, vote out
thwart the passage of
demonstrate, march
march in protest; take part in a demonstration
arise, rebel, rise, rise up
take part in a rebellion; renounce a former allegiance
rebel, renegade
break with established customs
Type of:
rebut, refute
overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof

v fight against or resist strongly

“The senator said he would oppose the bill”
defend, fight, fight back, fight down
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show strong objection or repugnance; manifest vigorous opposition or resistance; be obstinately disobedient
fend, resist, stand
withstand the force of something
hold out, resist, stand firm, withstand
stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something
drive back, fight off, rebuff, repel, repulse
force or drive back
stand out
be stubborn in resolution or resistance
stand up
refuse to back down; remain solid under criticism or attack
resist bravely
hold off
resist and fight to a standoff
remain firm, stand
hold one's ground; maintain a position; be steadfast or upright
defy, hold, hold up, withstand
resist or confront with resistance
Type of:
contend, fight, struggle
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight

v act against or in opposition to

act on, follow up on, pursue
carry further or advance
buck, go against
check out, run down
Type of:
act, move
perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)

v contrast with equal weight or force

counterpoise, counterpose, counterweight
constitute a counterweight or counterbalance to
Type of:
contrast, counterpoint
show differences when compared; be different

v set into opposition or rivalry

match, pit, play off
Type of:
confront, face
oppose, as in hostility or a competition

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