Antonyms -Meaning and examples

Antonyms -Meaning and examples

Introduction

We come across antonyms every day as we read and write. They are very necessary especially when it has to do with contrasting words.

What are antonyms?

Antonym is rooted in the Greek language. The Greek word anti means opposite, while onym means name. Opposite name – that makes sense. Antonyms are words that are directly opposite in meaning to another word in a language.

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The functions of Antonym

Antonyms help in both speech and writing in a way that it helps lay emphasize on a particular word. In literature, they collaborate with figures of speech like synecdoche and paradox.

Types/ Examples of Antonyms

1. Listen – Ignore
2. Commence – End
3. Abnormal – Normal
4. Attract – Repel
5. Indolent – hardworking
6. Boring – Exciting.

There are three types of antonyms

1. Graded Antonym- These are antonyms that do not refer to any relationship but it only conference.
young — elderly
hard — easy
happy — wistful
wise — foolish
fat — slim
warm — cool
early — late
fast — slow
dark — pale

2. Relational Antonyms: These are antonyms that show a reversal of the relationship between two items. For example
Buy – Sell
Husband – Wife
Uncle – Aunt
Father – Mother
Brother – Sister.

Numerous verbs, adverbs and prepositions are part of this reversal of relationship. Example:
Borrow – Lend
Let – Rent
Givr- Receive
Below – Above
Behind – in front of
In – on
Open – close
Hello – goodbye

Complementary Antonyms: These are antonyms that are directly and absolutely opposite. They are set of incompatible terms in the sense that if a person is not married, he is single, if he is not male, he is female. More examples are:
Legal – Illegal
Alive – dead
Honest – Dishonest
Decent – Indecent
True – False

More examples of Antonyms

Achieve – Fail
Giant – Dwarf
Random – Specific
Afraid – Confident
Gloomy – Cheerful
Rigid – Flexible
Ancient – Modern
Individual – Group
Shame – Honor
Arrive – Depart
Innocent – Guilty
Simple – Complicated
Arrogant – Humble
Knowledge – Ignorance
Single – Married
Attack – Defend
Liquid – Solid
Sunny – Cloudy
Blunt – Sharp
Marvelous – Terrible
Timid – Bold
Brave – Cowardly
Noisy – Quiet
Toward – Away
Cautious – Careless
Partial – Complete
Tragic – Comic
Complex – Simple
Passive – Active
Transparent – Opaque
Crazy – Sane
Permanent – Unstable
Triumph – Defeat
Crooked – Straight
Plentiful – Sparse
Union – Separation
Demand – Supply
Positive – Negative
Unique – Common
Destroy – Create
Powerful – Weak
Upset – Relaxed
Divide – Unite
Praise – Criticism
Urge – Deter
Drunk – Sober
Private – Public
Vacant – Occupied
Expand – Contract
Problem – Solution
Vague – Definite
Freeze – Boil
Professional – Amateur
Villain – Hero
Full – Empty
Profit – Loss
Wax – Wane
Generous – Stingy
Quality – Inferiority
Wealth – Poverty
More examples of antonyms from Thesaurus are:
monarchy and democracy
truth and lie
good and bad
enemy and friend
antonym and synonym
love and hate
hi and bye
happy and sad
agriculture and industry
audience and absence
hero and villain
smile and frown
beautiful and ugly
coward and brave
extravagant and cheap
gratitude and ingratitude
awesome and unimpressive
investigate and ignore
anxious and calm.
argument and agreement
freedom and slavery
half-assed and sagacious
guardian and attacker
summit and bottom
aquatic and terrestrial
nice and unpleasant
contradict and agree
anguish and joy
fear and courage
silence and sound
endangered and protected
trust and distrust
second and first
structure and disorganization
enigma and clearness
shy and confident
convert and remain
petrified and fearless
frugal and lavish
survival and death
ancient and new
well – versed and unschooled
migrate and stay
dilemma and solution
postscript and introduction
sophisticated and naive
chronological and random
punctual and tardy
fierce and peaceful
emerge and disappear
Attract and repel
Ignoble and noble or honourable
Convict and Acquit
Ratify and reject
Extol and Condemn or Reprimand
Extinction and Existence
Coerce and persuade
Optimist and pessmist
Ruthless and Humane or Kind
Achieve and Fail
Idle and Active
Attack and defend
Blunt and sharp
Hard and Soft
Negative and positive
Generous and stingy
Sweet and bitter
Short and tall
Fat and thin
Heavy and light
Artificial and Natural
Accidental and intentional
Bottom and Top
Accept and Refuse
Absent and present
Before and after
Reward and punishment
Always and never
Known and unknown
Increase and decrease
Hid and show
Asleep and awake
Boy and girl
Certain and uncertain
Dry and wet
North and south
Comedy and tragedy
Combine and separate
Indolent and diligent
Abandon and chase
Abbreviate and elongate
Abolish and establish
Above and beneath
Absent and present
Abundance and scarce
Blunt and sharp
Bright and dark
Burial and disinterment
Climax and anti-climax
Die and live
Disability and ability
Distance and nearness

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