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[an-tuh-nim] /ˈæn tə nɪm/
a word opposite in meaning to another. Fast is an antonym of slow.
Compare synonym (def 1).
1865-70; ant- + (syn)onym
Related forms
[an-ton-uh-muh s] /ænˈtɒn ə məs/ (Show IPA),
antonymic, adjective
antonymy, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antonyms
  • The two are so tightly coupled that they are practically antonyms.
  • But still--"immigrant" and "citizen" are not antonyms.
  • Meanwhile, they will be receiving a thorough review of word pairs and antonyms.
  • Antithesis and alter ego are functionally antonyms.
  • In some games, fitness and sports seem to be antonyms.
  • The antonym of design is not evolution, the antonyms of design are accident and coincidence.
  • Identify antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms for given words within text.
British Dictionary definitions for antonyms


a word that means the opposite of another word: ``empty'' is an antonym of ``full''
Derived Forms
antonymous (ænˈtɒnɪməs) adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for antonyms



1867, coined to serve as opposite of synonym, from Greek anti- "equal to, instead of, opposite" (see anti-) + -onym "name" (see name (n.)). Perhaps introduced to English in the book "Synonyms and Antonyms" (1867) by the Ven. C.J. Smith, M.A.

UNDER the head of Synonyms and Antonyms, Archdeacon Smith arranges words which form an antithesis to one another. The word "antonym" is, we believe, a new formation but useful. ["Journal of Sacred Literature," July 1867]
French antonyme (1842), German antonym (by 1859) are older. The un-Greek alternative counterterm has been left to fade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antonyms in Culture
antonyms [(an-tuh-nimz)]

Two words with opposite meanings. Cold and hot are antonyms; so are small and large. (Compare synonyms.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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