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a. A position of a person's body or body parts: a sitting posture; the posture of a supplicant.

b. A characteristic way of bearing one's body; carriage: stooped posture.

2. Zoology A position of an animal's body or body parts, especially for the purpose of communication: a dog's submissive posture.

3. Relative placement or arrangement: the posture of the buildings on the land.

4. A condition or state under certain circumstances: the nation's posture in the world economy.


a. An attitude or way of behaving, especially when adopted to have an effect on others: assumed a posture of angry defiance.

b. An approach or policy with regard to something: adjusting the government's defense posture.

v. pos·tured, pos·tur·ing, pos·tures


1. To assume a certain, often exaggerated body position; pose.

2. To assume a certain attitude or behave in a certain way, especially to make an impression or gain an advantage: "They postured as Southern Loyalists to win the support of ex-Confederates" (James M. Smallwood).

3. Zoology To assume a certain position of the body or of body parts, often as part of a display.

1. To put into a specific posture; pose: The photographer postured the model.

2. To place in a certain arrangement or condition: an army that was postured for defense.

[French, from Italian postura, from Latin positūra, position, from positus, past participle of pōnere, to place; see apo- in Indo-European roots.]

pos′tur·al adj.

pos′tur·er, pos′tur·ist n.

Synonyms: posture, attitude, carriage, pose1, stance
These nouns denote a position of the body and limbs: erect posture; an attitude of prayer; dignified carriage; a reclining pose; an athlete's alert stance.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



1. a position or attitude of the limbs or body

2. a characteristic manner of bearing the body; carriage: to have good posture.

3. the disposition of the parts of a visible object

4. a mental attitude or frame of mind

5. a state, situation, or condition

6. a false or affected attitude; pose


7. to assume or cause to assume a bodily position or attitude

8. (intr) to assume an affected or unnatural bodily or mental posture; pose

[C17: via French from Italian postura, from Latin positūra, from pōnere to place]

ˈpostural adj

ˈposturer n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɒs tʃər)

n., v. -tured, -tur•ing. n.

1. the position of the limbs or the carriage of the body as a whole.

2. an affected or unnatural attitude.

3. the relative disposition of the parts of something.

4. a mental or spiritual attitude.

5. a policy or stance, as that adopted by a company or government.

6. position, condition, or state, as of affairs.


7. to place in a particular posture or attitude.


8. to assume a particular posture.

9. to assume affected or unnatural postures, as by bending or contorting the body.

10. to act in an affected or artificial manner, as to create a certain impression.

[1595–1605; < French < Italian postura < Latin positūra]

pos′tur•al, adj.

pos′tur•er, n.

syn: See position.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Arched like a cavalry horse getting a whiff of the battlefield —Katherine Anne Porter
  2. A back like a marine drill instructor’s … straight as a rifle shot —Loren D. Estleman
  3. Bolt upright like drawn bayonets —Aharon Megged
  4. Erect as a candle —Isak Dinesen

    Dinesen used this simile in a short story, The de Cats Family. Because many a simile is hard to establish as one writer’s creative invention, it should come as no surprise that it also appeared in Ignazio Silone’s novel, The Secret of Luca.

  5. Erect as a cavalry officer —Francine du Plessis Gray
  6. Erect as a Grecian pillar —Anon
  7. Held his shoulders back as though they were braced, and he sucked in his stomach like a soldier —John Steinbeck
  8. Her back is curved like a shell —Louise Erdrich
  9. Her entire posture seemed to have bunched up like a fist —Robert B. Parker
  10. Her spine droops like a dying daisy —Ira Wood
  11. Huddled up like a pale misshapen piece of pastry —Hugh Walpole
  12. Hunched his shoulders like a fighter tensing for a blow —Harvey Swados
  13. Hunched like a cowboy that hears a rattler —Paul Theroux

    Theroux’s simile was particularly apt for the photographer-heroine of his novel, Picture Palace.

  14. Hunched, like a man made lintel-shy by too many cracks on the head through adolescence —Harold Adams
  15. Hunched over like an old turtle —Louise Erdrich
  16. (Sit …) hunched up like a crow —Elizabeth Spencer
  17. Like a schoolmistress dealing with problem pupils, sat straight-backed —Dorothea Straus
  18. Posture … like an emaciated old man who once had been an athlete —Kenzaburo Oë
  19. Posture … rigid and stylized as a pair of bookends —George Garrett
  20. Rigid as an effigy —Gavin Lambert

    See Also: FIRMNESS

  21. (A sort of) savage stoop, like a bull lowering his horn —G. K. Chesterton
  22. Shoulders humped like a bull’s —Mary Hedin
  23. Shoulders sagged like empty sacks —James Crumley
  24. Shoulders … set like those of a man carrying a banner —Hugh Walpole
  25. Sits back, relaxed, as if she were watching an invisible TV and weeping over a soap opera —John J. Clayton
  26. Slumped like a chimpanzee —Mary Morris
  27. Slumped there like a bag of bones —Beryl Bainbridge
  28. Slump … like rags —Karl Shapiro
  29. Slumps there like an outsized parenthesis —Marge Piercy
  30. Standing to attention like a dead centurion at his post —John Le Carré
  31. Stands stiff as a bobby when the Queen appears —Maxine Kumin
  32. Stands tall, straight and stern as an angel —Louise Erdrich
  33. Stiff-backed as a cadet —George Garrett
  34. Stood like a dart —Brian Merriman
  35. Stood rigid as a carving —Madison Smartt Bell
  36. Stood stiff as a marble statue —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  37. Stood up very straight like somebody in opera —Rebecca West
  38. Stooped, as though half-crouching under an expected blow —Ben Ames Williams
  39. Stooped like too tall visitors to an igloo —John Irving
  40. Stooping like a decayed tree, he was so old —A. E. Coppard
  41. Straightened like soldiers under review —Jay Parini
  42. Tilted forward at the waist like a stickshift in third gear —Rick Borsten
  43. Upright as a palm tree —The Holy Bible/Proverbs

    Variations of this biblical simile link uprightness with a variety of other trees; for example, “Upright as a pine.”

  44. Upright like stalks —Aharon Megged

Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Past participle:postured

ImperativePresentPreteritePresent ContinuousPresent PerfectPast ContinuousPast PerfectFutureFuture PerfectFuture ContinuousPresent Perfect ContinuousFuture Perfect ContinuousPast Perfect ContinuousConditionalPast Conditional


Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:

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Noun 1. posture - the arrangement of the body and its limbsposture - the arrangement of the body and its limbs; "he assumed an attitude of surrender"

attitude, position

order arms - a position in the manual of arms; the rifle is held vertically on the right side with the butt on the ground; often used as a command

bodily property - an attribute of the body

ballet position - classical position of the body and especially the feet in ballet

decubitus - a reclining position (as in a bed)

eversion - the position of being turned outward; "the eversion of the foot"

lithotomy position - a position lying on your back with knees bent and thighs apart; assumed for vaginal or rectal examination

lotus position - a sitting position with the legs crossed; used in yoga

pose - a posture assumed by models for photographic or artistic purposes

presentation - (obstetrics) position of the fetus in the uterus relative to the birth canal; "Cesarean sections are sometimes the result of abnormal presentations"

ectopia - abnormal position of a part or organ (especially at the time of birth)

asana - (Hinduism) a posture or manner of sitting (as in the practice of yoga)

guard - a posture of defence in boxing or fencing; "keep your guard up"

sprawling, sprawl - an ungainly posture with arms and legs spread about

stance - standing posture

tuck - (sports) a bodily position adopted in some sports (such as diving or skiing) in which the knees are bent and the thighs are drawn close to the chest

2. posture - characteristic way of bearing one's bodyposture - characteristic way of bearing one's body; "stood with good posture"

carriage, bearing

bodily property - an attribute of the body

manner of walking, walk - manner of walking; "he had a funny walk"

slouch - a stooping carriage in standing and walking

gracefulness - beautiful carriage

clumsiness, awkwardness - the carriage of someone whose movements and posture are ungainly or inelegant

3. posture - a rationalized mental attitude

stance, position

attitude, mental attitude - a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways; "he had the attitude that work was fun"

hard line - a firm and uncompromising stance or position; "the governor took a hard line on drugs"

point of view, standpoint, viewpoint, stand - a mental position from which things are viewed; "we should consider this problem from the viewpoint of the Russians"; "teaching history gave him a special point of view toward current events"

4. posture - capability in terms of personnel and materiel that affect the capacity to fight a warposture - capability in terms of personnel and materiel that affect the capacity to fight a war; "we faced an army of great strength"; "politicians have neglected our military posture"

military capability, military posture, military strength, strength

sea power - naval strength

capability, capableness - the quality of being capable -- physically or intellectually or legally; "he worked to the limits of his capability"

firepower - (military) the relative capacity for delivering fire on a target

armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"

Verb 1. posture - behave affectedly or unnaturally in order to impress others; "Don't pay any attention to him--he is always posing to impress his peers!"; "She postured and made a total fool of herself"


deport, comport, acquit, behave, conduct, bear, carry - behave in a certain manner; "She carried herself well"; "he bore himself with dignity"; "They conducted themselves well during these difficult times"

attitudinise, attitudinize - assume certain affected attitudes

2. posture - assume a posture as for artistic purposes; "We don't know the woman who posed for Leonardo so often"

pose, model, sit

artistic creation, artistic production, art - the creation of beautiful or significant things; "art does not need to be innovative to be good"; "I was never any good at art"; "he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully"

display, exhibit, expose - to show, make visible or apparent; "The Metropolitan Museum is exhibiting Goya's works this month"; "Why don't you show your nice legs and wear shorter skirts?"; "National leaders will have to display the highest skills of statesmanship"

ramp - be rampant; "the lion is rampant in this heraldic depiction"

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.



1. bearing, set, position, attitude, pose, stance, carriage, disposition, mien (literary) She walked haltingly and her posture was stooped.

2. attitude, feeling, mood, point of view, stance, outlook, inclination, disposition, standpoint, frame of mind None of the banks changed their posture on the deal as a result of the inquiry.


1. show off (informal), pose, affect, hot-dog (chiefly U.S.), make a show, showboat, put on airs, try to attract attention, attitudinize, do something for effect Rock stars sneered, postured and leaped on the TV screen.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


nounverb1.To assume an exaggerated or unnatural attitude or pose:

attitudinize, pose.

Idiom: strike an attitude.

3.To assume a particular position, as for a portrait:

pose, sit.

The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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