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Search and find opposites: antonyms & words with opposite meanings
Opposites / Antonyms Dictionary
What is the opposite of dangerous and which antonyms are there for this word?
You’ll find a quick answer to your questions about words with opposite meanings in our Antonym Dictionary.
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What is an antonym?
Antonym is a term stemming from semantics, a linguistic
field involved in the analysis of word meanings. It takes its origins from the
Greek words for "against, opposed to" and "name". Antonyms
are pairs of words with opposite meanings, which is why they’re often simply
referred to as opposites in English. The degree of contrast which antonyms can
express is broad, ranging from the extreme, such as "hot" und
"cold", to more subtle degrees of difference, as in "warm"
und "cool". In addition, they are also used for defining opposing
processes or directions. Semantically speaking, antonymy describes the
relationship between two words which have opposite meanings.
Special Types of Antonyms
One special type of antonyms are complementary antonyms.
These words are mutually exclusive absolute opposites which cannot be graded,
such "alive" and "dead".
An auto-antonym or antagonym is a word with converse multiple meanings,
where one word contains reverse meanings. For example, the word "left" can mean "remaining" or
"departed". In short, you can think of an auto-antonym as a word or
phrase which contradicts itself.
Although many antonyms are formed from pairs of two distinct
words, such as "random" and "specific", it is also possible
to use prefixes to create an opposite meaning for a word, such as
"agree" and "disagree". Common prefixes used to create
antonyms include dis-, il-, in-, im-, ir-, and un-. Homonyms, or words that
share the same pronunciation or spelling, such as "right" and
"write" or "lead" (to guide) and "lead" (metal),
have different antonyms corresponding to their various meanings.
The ability to correctly pair up antonyms is also a task featured in IQ tests. Combining antonyms is often used as a rhetorical device, for example, in oxymorons such as "deafening silence" or paradoxes like "If I know one thing, it's that I know nothing." The opposite of antonym is synonym, which means, if need be, you could also find a synonym by negating an antonym.