antithesis

[an-tith-uh-sis]
noun, plural antitheses [an-tith-uh-seez] .
1.
opposition; contrast: the antithesis of right and wrong.
2.
the direct opposite (usually followed by of or to ): Her behavior was the very antithesis of cowardly.
3.
Rhetoric.
a.
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.”
b.
the second sentence or part thus set in opposition, as “or give me death.”
4.
Philosophy, See under Hegelian dialectic.

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

self-antithesis, noun

antithesis, synthesis, thesis.


2. opposite, reverse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

Hegelian dialectic

noun
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)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
antithesis (ænˈtɪθɪsɪs)
 
n , pl -ses
1.  the exact opposite
2.  contrast or opposition
3.  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
4.  philosophy the second stage in the Hegelian dialectic contradicting the thesis before resolution by the synthesis
 
[C15: via Latin from Greek: a setting against, from anti- + tithenai to place]

Hegelian dialectic (hɪˈɡeɪlɪan, heɪˈɡiː-)
 
n
philosophy an interpretive method in which the contradiction between a proposition (thesis) and its antithesis is resolved at a higher level of truth (synthesis)

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

antithesis
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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

antithesis

a figure of speech in which irreconcilable opposites or strongly contrasting ideas are placed in sharp juxtaposition and sustained tension, as in the saying "Art is long, and Time is fleeting."

Learn more about antithesis with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is the antithesis of what is supposed to happen.
The antithesis of nonviolence is self-defense.
If anything, the lanky actor seems the antithesis of the often-fearsome
  characters he plays.
He was the antithesis of the career politicians he was running against.
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