I remember coming across a term for a word which has an opposite (or at least very different) meaning from its etymological root word's meaning. Does anyone know what this term is?

  • 1
    Are you looking for Nonantonymic Antonyms? Nov 25, 2014 at 0:33
  • Do you mean a word that actually has two opposite meanings, such as "cleave" or "sanction"? Or only those words that actually developed SOLELY an opposite meaning from the supposed "original" meaning of the root? An example or two would help clarify. (Of course, I can't think of the term for either of these types, but they would be different.) The article "Auto-antonym" in Wikipedia offers several terms, although it is not very clear in distinguishing them. Nov 25, 2014 at 3:56
  • 1
    Related: Etymological fallacy. Actually, it is usual that a historical meaning of a word can be different from (or even opposite of) present-day meaning.
    – ermanen
    Nov 25, 2014 at 4:41

1 Answer 1


Shoot (pronounce as shooot) As it is root of a plant ,it is also shoot of a plant.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.