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antiphrasis

[an-tif-ruh-sis]
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noun Rhetoric.
  1. the use of a word in a sense opposite to its proper meaning.

Origin of antiphrasis

1525–35; < Latin < Greek, derivative of antiphrázein to speak the opposite (anti- anti- + phrázein to speak); see phrase, sis
Related formsan·ti·phras·tic [an-ti-fras-tik] /ˌæn tɪˈfræs tɪk/, an·ti·phras·ti·cal, adjectivean·ti·phras·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for antiphrastic

antiphrasis

noun
  1. rhetoric the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal one, esp for ironic effect

Word Origin

C16: via Late Latin from Greek, from anti- + phrasis, from phrazein to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for antiphrastic

antiphrasis

n.

1530s, from Latin antiphrasis, from Greek antiphrasis, from antiphrazein "to express (something) by the opposite," from anti- (see anti-) + phrazein "to consider, to express" (see phrase (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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