from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To assume or hold a particular position or posture, as in sitting for a portrait.
  • intransitive v. To affect a particular mental attitude.
  • intransitive v. To represent oneself falsely; pretend to be other than what one is.
  • transitive v. To place (a model, for example) in a specific position.
  • transitive v. To set forth in words; propound: pose a question.
  • transitive v. To put forward; present: pose a threat. See Synonyms at propose.
  • n. A bodily attitude or position, especially one assumed for an artist or a photographer. See Synonyms at posture.
  • n. A studied attitude assumed for effect. See Synonyms at affectation.
  • transitive v. To puzzle, confuse, or baffle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. set in place, arrange
  • v. ask, set (a test or quiz)
  • v. to constitute (a danger, a threat, a risk, etc...)
  • v. assume or maintain a pose
  • v. To interrogate; to question.
  • v. To question with a view to puzzling; to embarrass by questioning or scrutiny; to bring to a stand.
  • n. position, posture, arrangement (especially of the human body)
  • n. affectation
  • n. common cold, head cold
  • v. To ask (someone) questions; to interrogate.
  • v. To perplex or confuse (someone).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cold in the head; catarrh.
  • n. The attitude or position of a person; the position of the body or of any member of the body; especially, a position formally assumed for the sake of effect; an artificial position
  • intransitive v. To assume and maintain a studied attitude, with studied arrangement of drapery; to strike an attitude; to attitudinize; figuratively, to assume or affect a certain character.
  • transitive v. To place in an attitude or fixed position, for the sake of effect; to arrange the posture and drapery of (a person) in a studied manner
  • transitive v. To interrogate; to question.
  • transitive v. To question with a view to puzzling; to embarrass by questioning or scrutiny; to bring to a stand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put; place; set.
  • To put by way of supposition or hypothesis; suppose.
  • To lay down as a proposition; state; posit.
  • To place in suitable or becoming position or posture; cause to assume a suitable or effective attitude: as, to pose a person for a portrait.
  • To bear; conduct.
  • To make a supposition; put the case.
  • To assume a particular attitude or rôle; endeavor to appear or be regarded (as something else); attitudinize, literally or figuratively: as, to pose as a model; to pose as a martyr.
  • To put questions to; interrogate closely; question; examine.
  • To puzzle, nonplus, or embarrass by a difficult question.
  • At dominoes, to set (the first domino).
  • n. A cold in the head; catarrh.
  • n. Attitude or position, whether taken naturally or assumed for effect: as, the pose of an actor; especially, the attitude in which any character is represented artistically; the position, whether of the whole person or of an individual member of the body: as, the pose of a statue; the pose of the head.
  • n. A deposit; a secret hoard.
  • n. Synonyms Position, Attitude, etc. See posture.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. affected manners intended to impress others
  • n. a posture assumed by models for photographic or artistic purposes
  • v. put into a certain place or abstract location
  • v. be a mystery or bewildering to
  • n. a deliberate pretense or exaggerated display
  • v. introduce
  • v. assume a posture as for artistic purposes
  • v. pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions
  • v. behave affectedly or unnaturally in order to impress others


Middle English posen, to place, from Old French poser, from Vulgar Latin *pausāre, from Late Latin pausāre, to rest, from Latin pausa, pause; see pause.
Short for appose, to examine closely (from Middle English apposen, alteration of opposen; see oppose) and from French poser, to assume (obsolete) (from Old French; see pose1).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French and Middle French poser, from Vulgar Latin pausare, from Latin pausa ("pause"), from Ancient Greek παῦσις (pausis); influenced by Latin ponere. (Wiktionary)
From a combination of aphetic forms of appose and oppose. (Wiktionary)
From Old English ge-pos (Wiktionary)



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  • im-pose: re-pose: de-pose: juxta-pose

    March 26, 2009

  • 1840 THACKERAY Shabby-genteel Story vi. 237 He..‘posed’ before her as a hero of the most sublime kind.

    April 11, 2008