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)
1520s, from L.L. antithesis, from Gk. antithesis "opposition," lit. "a placing against," noun of action from antitithenai "to set against, oppose," a term in logic, from anti- "against" + tithenai "to place," from PIE base *dhe- "to put, to do" (see factitious).