[ an-tith-uh-sis ]
/ ænˈtɪθ ə sɪs /

noun, plural an·tith·e·ses [an-tith-uh-seez] /ænˈtɪθ əˌsiz/.

opposition; contrast: the antithesis of right and wrong.
the direct opposite (usually followed by of or to): Her behavior was the very antithesis of cowardly.
  1. the placing of a sentence or one of its parts against another to which it is opposed to form a balanced contrast of ideas, as in “Give me liberty or give me death.”
  2. the second sentence or part thus set in opposition, as “or give me death.”
Philosophy. See under Hegelian dialectic.

Origin of antithesis

1520–30; < Latin < Greek: opposition, equivalent to anti(ti)thé(nai) to oppose + -sis -sis. See anti-, thesis


self-an·tith·e·sis, noun


antithesis synthesis thesis

Definition for antithesis (2 of 2)

Hegelian dialectic


an interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which some assertible proposition (thesis) is necessarily opposed by an equally assertible and apparently contradictory proposition (antithesis), the mutual contradiction being reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for antithesis

British Dictionary definitions for antithesis (1 of 2)

/ (ænˈtɪθɪsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)

the exact opposite
contrast or opposition
rhetoric the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas, phrases, or words so as to produce an effect of balance, such as my words fly up, my thoughts remain below
philosophy the second stage in the Hegelian dialectic contradicting the thesis before resolution by the synthesis

Word Origin for antithesis

C15: via Latin from Greek: a setting against, from anti- + tithenai to place

British Dictionary definitions for antithesis (2 of 2)

Hegelian dialectic
/ (hɪˈɡeɪlɪan, heɪˈɡiː-) /


philosophy an interpretive method in which the contradiction between a proposition (thesis) and its antithesis is resolved at a higher level of truth (synthesis)
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