American English

Definition of position noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the place where someone or something is located From his position on the cliff top, he had a good view of the harbor. Where would be the best position for the lights? These plants will grow well in a sheltered position. The hotel stands in an elevated position looking out over the lake. Thesaurusplacesite area position point location scene spot venueThese are all words for a particular area or part of an area, especially one used for a particular purpose or where something is situated or a particular point, area, city, town, building, etc., especially one used for a particular purpose or where a particular thing happens:This would be a good place for a the place where something, especially a building, is or will be situated; a place where something happened or that is used for a particular purpose:They've chosen a site for the new school.area a part of a room, building, or particular space that is used for a special purpose; a particular place on an object:the hotel reception area Move the cursor to a blank area on the screen.position the place where a person or thing is situated; the place where someone or something is meant to be:From his position at the top of the hill, he could see the harbor. The position of someone or something is often temporary: the place where the person or thing is at a particular time.point a particular place within an area, where something happens or is supposed to happen:the point at which the river divideslocation a place where something happens or exists, especially a place that is not named or not known:The company is moving to a new location.scene a place where something happens, especially something unpleasant:the scene of the accidentspot a particular point or area, especially one that has a particular character or where something particular happens:I proposed to your mother on this very spot 50 years ago.venue the place where people meet for an organized event such as a performance or a sports event:Please note the change of venue for this event.Patterns at a/the place/site/position/point/location/scene/spot/venue in a(n) place/area/position/location/venue the place/site/point/location/spot/venue where… the right place/site/position/location/spot/venue a central site/position/location/venue the/something's exact/precise place/site/position/point/location/spot
  2. 2[uncountable] the place where someone or something is meant to be; the correct place Is everybody in position? He took up his position by the door. She was learning to change her hand from first to third position (= on the strings of a violin ).
  3. way someone or something is placed
  4. 3[countable, uncountable] the way in which someone is sitting or standing, or the way in which something is arranged a sitting/kneeling/lying position Keep the box in an upright position. Make sure that you are working in a comfortable position. My arms were aching so I shifted (my) position slightly. The soldiers had to stand for hours without changing position.
  5. situation
  6. 4[countable, usually singular] the situation that someone is in, especially when it affects what they can and cannot do to be in a position of power/strength/authority What would you do in my position? This put him and his colleagues in a difficult position. The company's financial position is not certain. position to do something I'm afraid I am not in a position to help you. Thesaurussituationcircumstances position conditions things the case state of affairsThese are all words for the conditions and facts that are connected with and affect the way things are.situation all the things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place:the current economic situationcircumstances the facts that are connected with and affect a situation, an event, or an action; the conditions of a person's life, especially the money they have:The ship sank in mysterious circumstances.position the situation that someone is in, especially when it affects what they can and cannot do:She knew that she was in a position of power.conditions the circumstances in which people live, work, or do things; the physical situation that affects how something happens:We were forced to work outside in freezing conditions.circumstances or conditions?Circumstances often refers to someone's financial situation;conditions are things such as the quality and amount of food or shelter they have. The circumstances that affect an event are the facts surrounding it; the conditions that affect it are usually physical ones, such as the weather.things (somewhat informal) the general situation, as it affects someone:Hi, Jane! How are things? Think things over before you decide.the case the true situation:If that is the case (= if the situation described is true), we need more staff.state of affairs a situation:Well, this is certainly a sorry state of affairs.situation or state of affairs?State of affairs is mostly used with this. It is also used with adjectives describing how good or bad a situation is, such as happy, sorry, shocking, and sad, as well as those relating to time, such as present and current. Situation is much more frequent and is used in a wider variety of contexts.Patterns in (a) particular situation/circumstances/position/state of affairs the/somebody's economic/financial/social situation/circumstances/position/conditions (a/an) happy/fortunate/unfortunate/sad situation/circumstances/position/state of affairs to look at/review the situation/circumstances/conditions/things
  7. opinion
  8. 5[countable] position (on something) an opinion on or an attitude toward a particular subject to declare/reconsider/shift/change your position the party's position on education reforms She has made her position very clear. My parents always took the position that early bedtimes meant healthy children.
  9. level of importance
  10. 6[countable, uncountable] a person or organization's level of importance when compared with others the position of women in society the company's dominant position in the world market Wealth and position (= high social status) were not important to her.
  11. job
  12. 7[countable] (formal) a job synonym He held a senior position in a large company. I would like to apply for the position of Sales Director. Thesaurusjobposition post vacancy appointmentThese are all words for a position doing work for which you receive regular payment.job a position doing work for which you receive regular payment:He's trying to get a job at a bank.position (formal) a job:I would like to apply for a position in sales.job or position?Position usually refers to a particular job within an organization, and is not usually used about about jobs generally. It is also often used in job applications, descriptions, and (formal) an important job, especially one in government:She was offered a key post in the new government.vacancy a job that is available for someone to do:We have several vacancies for nurses.appointment (somewhat formal) a job or position of responsibility:After two years, you will become eligible for a permanent appointment.Patterns a permanent/temporary job/position/post/vacancy/appointment a full-time/part-time job/position/post/vacancy/appointment to have/have got a(n) job/position/post/vacancy/appointment to apply for/fill a job/position/post/vacancy to resign from/leave/quit a job/position/post
  13. in race/competition
  14. 8[countable] a place in a race, competition, or test, when compared with others He was able to work his way up to third position in the race.
  15. in sports
  16. 9[countable] the place where someone plays and the responsibilities they have in some team games What position does he play?
  17. in war
  18. 10[countable, usually plural] a place where a group of people involved in fighting have put men and guns They attacked the enemy positions at dawn.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: position