[ an-tif-ruh-sis ]
/ ænˈtɪf rə sɪs /

noun Rhetoric.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM antiphrasis

an·ti·phras·tic [an-ti-fras-tik], /ˌæn tɪˈfræs tɪk/, an·ti·phras·ti·cal, adjectivean·ti·phras·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for antiphrasis

  • The friend who presented me with him had given him, perhaps by antiphrasis, the startling name of Pelléas.

    Our Friend the Dog|Maurice Maeterlinck

British Dictionary definitions for antiphrasis

/ (ænˈtɪfrəsɪs) /


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

Word Origin for antiphrasis

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