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What is the antonym for word? I first thought silence, but that doesn't quite fit; you can have written words. My next thought would be illiterate. So far I'm on the fence for that one too, because you can have speech. So, what is the antonym for word?

So far I've checked a dictionary (just gives synonyms) and synonym-antonym finder that gives me silence (I explained why this didn't work above).

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In the ghetto the antonym would be: false. =) –  JohnFx Nov 18 '11 at 16:06
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What is your context? Is this a Zen thing? –  JeffSahol Nov 18 '11 at 16:09
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Nonword? –  aedia λ Nov 18 '11 at 16:16
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What's the antonym of apple or sentence? Unless you zero in on a specific idiom or meaning, this question has no meaning. Not every noun has an opposite. –  ghoppe Nov 18 '11 at 16:17
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I thought the opposite of "apple" was "IBM-compatible PC". –  Jay Nov 18 '11 at 19:09
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closed as not a real question by Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, aedia λ, z7sg Ѫ, Hugo, Mitch Nov 18 '11 at 17:33

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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Merriam-Webster says that nonword is a word. It's probably the closest thing you'll get to a suitable antonym for word.

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Sorry Aedia, if you want to take credit for this, then by all means do so; I didn't see your comment beforehand. –  Mahnax Nov 18 '11 at 16:52
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Yep, the OED defines it as ‘A thing that is not a word; spec. an unrecorded or hitherto unused word; a word which has (or is regarded as having) no accepted meaning.’ The earliest of four citations is dated 1893. –  Barrie England Nov 18 '11 at 16:59
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