[ an-tuh-nim ]
/ ˈæn tə nɪm /
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See synonyms for: antonym / antonyms / antonymic / antonymous on Thesaurus.com

a word opposite in meaning to another. Fast is an antonym of slow.Compare synonym (def. 1).


These are smilar words, and share related meanings, but their uses are very different. Click on the buttons to learn more about these commonly confused words.
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Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
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Origin of antonym

First recorded in 1865–70; ant- + (syn)onym


an·ton·y·mous [an-ton-uh-muhs], /ænˈtɒn ə məs/, an·to·nym·ic, adjectivean·ton·y·my, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is an antonym?

An antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning of another word. For example, the word small means of limited size, while big means of large size. Happy, a feeling of gladness, is an antonym of sad, a feeling of sorrow.

Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs can all have antonyms, though not all do. A word can also have multiple antonyms. For example, the words fast, quick, speedy, swift, and rapid are all antonyms of the word slow.

Even antonym has an antonym! The opposite of antonym is synonym, which is a word that has the same meaning as another word. For example, a synonym of the word fast would be quick—both describe something that moves with speed.

If you are looking for some spicy new antonyms to use in your writing, you can find them using Thesaurus.com.

Why is antonym important?

The first records of antonym come from around 1865. It combines the prefix ant(i)-, meaning “opposite of” and (syn)onym, meaning “a word having the same meaning or nearly the same meaning as another.”

A word may not have any antonyms. This is especially likely when the word has a very specific meaning or is a proper noun. For example, the words three and Pacific Ocean do not have any antonyms.

If you don’t know what a word means, antonyms can help you figure it out. For example, you might not know what the word incandescent means. Once you find out that the words dark and dull are antonyms of incandescent, though, you can be pretty sure it has something to do with brightness or bright light.

Did you know ... ?

Even slang words can have antonyms! In this article, we explore some antonyms of commonly used slang terms.

What are real-life examples of antonym?

You can use antonyms to describe many of the things you see around you. You can probably think of some antonyms you could use to describe these two dogs in this picture:

@dog_rates, Aug 31, 2021

Antonyms are used everyday to describe differences between things.


What other words are related to antonym?

Quiz yourself!

Which of the following words is an antonym of the word “begin?”

A. start
B. end
C. begun
D. beginning

How to use antonym in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for antonym

/ (ˈæntənɪm) /

a word that means the opposite of another word``empty'' is an antonym of ``full''

Derived forms of antonym

antonymous (ænˈtɒnɪməs), adjective

Word Origin for antonym

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