I've always been amused by words like "monosyllabic" which are self-contradictory in the sense that the word itself is not, in fact, one syllable. "Palindrome" is another example. (Palindrome, contrary to its definition, does not read the same forwards and backwards.)

At one point I remember having at least two other similar examples, which I can no longer recall.

Is there a specific term for words that are themselves a counterexample of the concept they represent and are there other such words?

  • There are lots of examples: unpronounceable, meaningless, verb. – Peter Shor Jan 16 '16 at 14:57
  • All the parts of speech, except 'noun', are counterexamples of the concept they represent. 'Adjective' is not an adjective, 'preposition' is not a preposition, etc. – Shoe Jan 16 '16 at 14:59

From Wikipedia...

An autological word (also called homological word or autonym) is a word that expresses a property that it also possesses (e.g. the word "short" is short, "noun" is a noun, "English" is English, "pentasyllabic" has five syllables, "word" is a word, "sesquipedalian" is a long word.

The logical negating prefix should be an-, leading to anautological, but as you'll see from that link, Google says no-one has ever used that term. According to Wikipedia though, the opposite of autological is...

heterological (e.g. "long" is not long, "verb" is not typically a verb, "monosyllabic" has five syllables, "German" is not German, etc.)

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