Google gives this example for "epitome":

"she looked the epitome of elegance and good taste"

I'm wondering whether there's an opposite word, to mean "the best example of the opposite/contrast of.." e.g.

"she looked the ____ of elegance and good taste"

Meaning she was an example or demonstration of the complete opposite to elegance and good taste.

  • 1
    "Counterexample", perhaps? – Hot Licks Nov 22 '15 at 20:36
  • Antiepitome sounds like a good candidate. – Drew Nov 23 '15 at 2:15
  • @Drew Is it a word? – Edwin Ashworth Nov 23 '15 at 4:31
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    @Drew In my view, it's a misuse of 'word' if less than a reasonable number of speakers of the language involved understand the candidate and use it reasonably freely. And no, I can't legislate for what a 'reasonable number' is, but DIY 'words' don't qualify (at least immediately). – Edwin Ashworth Nov 23 '15 at 15:41
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth: It was a joke. I didn't submit it as an answer. But feel free to use it anyway. ;-) – Drew Nov 23 '15 at 17:26


Merriam Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antithesis)

"the exact opposite of something or someone

the state of two things that are directly opposite to each other"

Example (made up): "After an eight hour overnight plane trip in economy class, I felt wrinkled and weary, and my hair was a mess; I was the antithesis of the woman I wanted to be at the upcoming business meeting."

  • I was about to close-vote on general reference grounds. Then I checked the thesauruses available. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 22 '15 at 21:07
  • @EdwinAshworth: What did you see? – justhalf Nov 23 '15 at 1:02
  • @justhalf The two I checked missed 'antithesis'. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 23 '15 at 4:28
  • @mirror318 Thanks for the green tick! – ab2 Nov 24 '15 at 20:15


  • (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Something that is the exact opposite or contrary of another.

From The works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

  • But the proper antipode of a gentleman is to be sought for among the Anglo-American democrats.

I like the two answers given already, especially 'antithesis', but would also offer up:



"The worst or lowest point of something"

In some (not all) cases I think it's a better fit.

eg: "she looked [like] the nadir of elegance and good taste"


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