Meaning of “position” in the English Dictionary

"position" in British English

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uk /pəˈzɪʃ.ən/ us /pəˈzɪʃ.ən/

position noun (PLACE)

B1 [ C ] the place where something or someone is, often in relation to other things:

Well, I've found our position on the map if you want to see where we are.
You've moved the furniture around - the sofa is in a different position.

[ C ] (in team sports) the part someone plays in a game, relating to the area of the field in which they mostly play:

I didn't know you played hockey - what position do you play?

C1 [ C or U ] the place where people are sent in order to carry out a course of action:

The troops took up their battle positions at the front line.
As soon as his officers were in position/had moved into position, the police commander walked up the path towards the house.

More examples

  • Since the volcano last erupted, many houses have been built in a dangerous position on its slopes.
  • The house is in a very exposed position.
  • The shop front occupies a very prominent position on the main street.
  • The blocks of stone had to be lifted into position with a system of pulleys.
  • Can you hold this nail in position while I hammer it into the door?

position noun (SITUATION)

B1 [ C usually singular ] a situation:

My financial position is somewhat precarious at the moment.
When two of your best friends argue, it puts you in a very awkward position.
be in a position to do sth

C1 to be able to do something, usually because you have the necessary experience, authority, or money:

I'm not in a position to reveal any of the details of the project at present.
I'm sure they'd like to help her out financially, but they're not in a position to do so.

More examples

  • She's in the enviable position of being able to choose who she works for.
  • The company is in a bad financial position because of overproduction and distribution problems.
  • When friends divorce, you can find yourself in a really awkward position.
  • As a convicted criminal, he's in no position to pass judgment on the rest of us.
  • She's in an impossible position - she's got to leave him but she can't bear losing her children.

position noun (RANK)

B2 [ C ] a rank or level in a company, competition, or society:

Whether or not you're given a car depends on your position in the company.
UK She finished the race in third position.

B2 [ C ] a job:

She applied for a position in the firm that I work for.

More examples

  • There is a growing number of women in high-profile positions in the government.
  • This course aims to prepare students for middle and senior managerial positions.
  • The Italian champion was in second position when he came to grief on the third lap.
  • He currently holds the position of technical manager.
  • Manchester United and Liverpool are jousting for position at the top of the football league.

position noun (ARRANGEMENT)

B1 [ C ] the way in which something is arranged:

I go to sleep on my back but I always wake up in a different position.
Keep the bottles in an upright position.
This is not a very comfortable position.

More examples

  • Rotate it slowly from the horizontal into a vertical position.
  • Can you hold this nail in position while I hammer it into the door?
  • Fishing nets are often held in position by floats.
  • Please return your seat to an upright position and fasten your belt.
  • You might feel more comfortable in a sitting position.

position noun (OPINION)

[ C usually singular ] formal an opinion:

What's the company's position on recycling?
He takes the position (= believes) that individuals have a responsibility to look after themselves.

More examples

  • The prime minister has adopted an inflexible position on immigration.
  • The group has taken a militant position on the abortion issue and is refusing to compromise.
  • You've made your position quite clear .
  • Do we have a fallback position for these negotiations?
  • I think we need to reconsider our position.

positionverb [ T usually + adv/prep ]

uk /pəˈzɪʃ.ən/ us /pəˈzɪʃ.ən/

(Definition of “position” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"position" in American English

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us /pəˈzɪʃ·ən/

position noun (PLACE)

[ C/U ] the place where something or someone is, often in relation to other things:

[ C ] I’ve switched the positions of the sofa and the chair.

[ C/U ] In sports, a position is the place where you play on your team, or the responsibilities of someone who plays in that place:

[ C ] He played the shortstop position when he started in baseball.

position noun (RANK)

[ C ] a rank or level in a company, competition, or society:

She’s devoted her life to improving the position of women in society.

[ C ] A position in a company or organization is also a job:

He applied for the position of marketing manager.

position noun (SITUATION)

[ C usually sing ] a situation or condition:

a shaky financial position
She found herself in a difficult position and didn’t know what to say.

[ C usually sing ] If you are in a position to do something, you are able to do it, usually because you have the necessary power or money:

[ + to infinitive ] Do you think she’s in a position to help you?

position noun (OPINION)

[ C ] a way of thinking about a particular matter; opinion:

Our position is that we’ve made a very fair offer to settle this dispute.

position noun (ARRANGEMENT OF BODY)

[ C ] the way in which the body is arranged:

My knees get stiff when I sit in the same position for a long time.
verb [ T ] us /pəˈzɪʃ·ən/

The Secret Service men quickly positioned themselves around the president.

(Definition of “position” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"position" in Business English

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positionnoun [ C ]

uk /pəˈzɪʃən/ us

HR, WORKPLACE a job, especially one that is important:

advertise/fill a position We hope to fill the position within the next two months.
apply for/take up/fill a position She will soon take up an important position with a firm of lawyers.
He filled the position of Executive Director recently vacated by Terry John.

a rank or level of success in a company, in society, etc.:

establish/gain/hold a position He took advantage of every opportunity to establish his position within the company.
strengthen sb's position Industry insiders said the move would strengthen the position of the chief executive on the board.

a situation that someone or something is in:

The bank's position looks difficult, to say the least.
put sb/sth in a position This decision put me in an awkward position with regard to my staff.
They were not willing to release details of the company's financial position.
be in a strong/weak position Luckily, we were in a strong position compared to the competition.
reach a/the position We want to reach a position where we can pay off the debt.
consolidate/strengthen/weaken sb's position This news will serve to consolidate our position in the market.

an opinion on an important subject:

position on sth What's the company's position on outsourcing?
take the position that The Board will certainly take the position that their decision was justified.
take a position (on sth) When you are negotiating, you will need to take a position and be prepared to stick to it.

FINANCE the fact of investing in something, or the total amount that is invested:

take a position (on sth) Investors can take a position on any stock quoted in London.
hedge a position The riskier the stock, the more you will need to hedge your position.
be in a position to do sth

to be able to do something, usually because you have the necessary experience, authority, or money:

Nine months ago, we were not in a position to announce the expansion plan.

positionverb [ T ]

uk /pəˈzɪʃən/ us

to put something or someone in a particular position or situation:

The company has positioned itself as the country's leading textile manufacturer.
be well/ideally positioned to do sth We are well positioned to be able to deal with a downturn in the economy.

MARKETING to advertise a product or service so that people think about it in a particular way, and so that it is attractive to a particular part of the market:

position sth as sth Its high-end price ticket has positioned it as a luxury item.

(Definition of “position” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)