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From Middle French interposer, influenced by poser (to place, put), from Latin interpōnō, from inter (between) + pōnō (to place, put).



interpose (third-person singular simple present interposes, present participle interposing, simple past and past participle interposed)

  1. (transitive) To insert something (or oneself) between other things.
    to interpose a screen between the eye and the light
    • c. 1599, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar[1], Act II, scene i,
      What watchful cares do interpose themselves
      Betwixt your eyes and night?
    • 1785, William Cowper, The Task[2], book II, Philadelphia, Pa.: Thomas Dobson, 1787, page 30:
      Lands intersected by a narrow frith
      Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
      Make enemies of nations who had else
      Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
  2. (transitive) To interrupt a conversation by introducing a different subject or making a comment.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost[3], book XII, lines 1-5:
      As one who in his journey bates at Noone,
      Though bent on speed, so her the Archangel paused
      Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored,
      If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
      Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes.
  3. (transitive) To offer (one's help or services).
  4. (intransitive) To be inserted between parts or things; to come between.
    • 1782, William Cowper, “Truth”, in Poems, London: J. Johnson:
      Suppose, unlook’d for in a scene so rude,
      Long hid by interposing hill or wood,
      Some mansion neat and elegantly dress’d,
      By some kind hospitable heart possess’d
      Offer him warmth, security and rest;
  5. (intransitive) To intervene in a dispute, or in a conversation.


  • (To insert something (or oneself) between other things): insert
  • (To interrupt a conversation by introducing a different subject or making a comment): interrupt


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.






  1. third-person singular past historic of interporre