[ op-uh-zit, -sit ]
See synonyms for: oppositeoppositesoppositelyoppositeness on Thesaurus.com

  1. situated, placed, or lying face to face with something else or each other, or in corresponding positions with relation to an intervening line, space, or thing: opposite ends of a room.

  2. contrary or radically different in some respect common to both, as in nature, qualities, direction, result, or significance; opposed: opposite sides in a controversy;opposite directions.

  1. being the other of two related or corresponding things: Most of my family lives on the opposite coast, so I only see them a few times a year.

  2. Botany.

    • situated on diametrically opposed sides of an axis, as leaves when there are two on one node.

    • having one organ vertically above another; superimposed.

  3. adverse or inimical.

  1. a person or thing that is opposite or contrary.

  2. an antonym.

  1. Archaic. an opponent; antagonist.

  1. across from; facing: The guest of honor sat opposite me at the banquet.

  2. in a role parallel or complementary to: He has played opposite many leading ladies.

  1. on opposite sides.

  2. on the opposite side: I was at one end and she sat opposite.

  1. to the opposite side; in the opposite direction: I went to the left balcony, and he went opposite.

Origin of opposite

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin oppositus, past participle of oppōnere “to set against”; see oppose, -ite2

synonym study For opposite

2. Opposite, contrary, reverse imply that two things differ from each other in such a way as to indicate a definite kind of relationship. Opposite suggests symmetrical antithesis in position, action, or character: opposite ends of a pole, sides of a road, views. Contrary sometimes adds to opposite the idea of conflict or antagonism: contrary statements, beliefs. Reverse suggests something that faces or moves in the opposite direction: the reverse side of a coin; a reverse gear.

Other words for opposite

Opposites for opposite

Other words from opposite

  • op·po·site·ly, adverb
  • op·po·site·ness, noun
  • sub·op·po·site, adjective
  • sub·op·po·site·ly, adverb
  • sub·op·po·site·ness, noun

Words Nearby opposite

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use opposite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for opposite


/ (ˈɒpəzɪt, -sɪt) /

  1. situated or being on the other side or at each side of something between: their houses were at opposite ends of the street

  2. facing or going in contrary directions: opposite ways

  1. diametrically different in character, tendency, belief, etc: opposite views

  2. botany

    • (of leaves, flowers, etc) arranged in pairs on either side of the stem

    • (of parts of a flower) arranged opposite the middle of another part

  3. maths

    • (of two vertices or sides in an even-sided polygon) separated by the same number of vertices or sides in both a clockwise and anticlockwise direction

    • (of a side in a triangle) facing a specified angle: Abbreviation: opp

  1. a person or thing that is opposite; antithesis

  2. maths the side facing a specified angle in a right-angled triangle

  1. a rare word for opponent

  1. Also: opposite to facing; corresponding to (something on the other side of a division): the house opposite ours

  2. as a co-star with: she played opposite Olivier in ``Hamlet''

  1. on opposite sides: she lives opposite

Derived forms of opposite

  • oppositely, adverb
  • oppositeness, noun

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

Scientific definitions for opposite


[ ŏpə-zĭt ]

  1. Arranged as one of a pair on either side of a stem or twig. Maple and ash trees have opposite leaves. Compare alternate.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.