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[an-tuh-nim] /ˈæn tə nɪm/
a word opposite in meaning to another. Fast is an antonym of slow.
Compare synonym (def 1).
Origin of antonym
First recorded in 1865-70; ant- + (syn)onym
Related forms
[an-ton-uh-muh s] /ænˈtɒn ə məs/ (Show IPA),
antonymic, adjective
antonymy, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for antonym
Historical Examples
  • Logically the other side of white is not white, while the antonym is the extreme black.

    Public Speaking Clarence Stratton
  • By and by, which was once a synonym, has become an antonym of immediately, meaning at some (perhaps remote) future time.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • In strict usage, daily is the antonym of nightly as diurnal is of nocturnal.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
British Dictionary definitions for antonym


a word that means the opposite of another word: ``empty'' is an antonym of ``full''
Derived Forms
antonymous (ænˈtɒnɪməs) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek antōnumia, from anti- + onoma name
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
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Word Origin and History for antonym

1867, coined to serve as opposite of synonym, from Greek anti- "equal to, instead of, opposite" (see anti-) + -onym "name" (see name (n.)). Perhaps introduced to English in the book "Synonyms and Antonyms" (1867) by the Ven. C.J. Smith, M.A.

UNDER the head of Synonyms and Antonyms, Archdeacon Smith arranges words which form an antithesis to one another. The word "antonym" is, we believe, a new formation but useful. ["Journal of Sacred Literature," July 1867]
French antonyme (1842), German antonym (by 1859) are older. The un-Greek alternative counterterm has been left to fade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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