1. The state of being posited, or placed; the manner in which anything is placed; attitude; condition; as, a firm, an inclined, or an upright position. "We have different prospects of the same thing, according to our different positions to it." (Locke)

2. The spot where a person or thing is placed or takes a place; site; place; station; situation; as, the position of man in creation; the fleet changed its position.

3. Hence: The ground which any one takes in an argument or controversy; the point of view from which any one proceeds to a discussion; also, a principle laid down as the basis of reasoning; a proposition; a thesis; as, to define one's position; to appear in a false position. "Let not the proof of any position depend on the positions that follow, but always on those which go before." (I. Watts)

4. Relative place or standing; social or official rank; as, a person of position; hence, office; post; as, to lose one's position.

5. <mathematics> A method of solving a problem by one or two suppositions; called also the rule of trial and error.

<astronomy> Angle of position, the angle which any line (as that joining two stars) makes with another fixed line, specifically with a circle of declination.

<mathematics> Double position, a position taken up by an army or a large detachment of troops for the purpose of checking or observing an opposing force.

Synonyms: Situation, station, place, condition, attitude, posture, proposition, assertion, thesis.

Origin: F. Position, L. Positio, fr. Ponere, positum, to put, place; prob. For posino, fr. An old preposition used only in comp. (akin to Gr) + sinere to leave, let, permit, place. See Site, and cf. Composite, Compound, Depone, Deposit, Expound, Impostor, Opposite, Propound, Pose, Posit, Post.

(01 Mar 1998)

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