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I just noticed something in a rather innocuous text that I was sending a friend. The word "Left", for instance, could mean, "Hey, have you left already?" or "Is anyone left here?". Both these meanings are completely different from each other even if they are using the same word(in this case, "left").

My question is, "Does anyone know more of such words? And if so, is there a specific term for them?"

  • auto-antonym or autantonym, also called a contronym or contranym is a word with multiple meanings (senses) of which one is the reverse of another. For example, the word cleave can mean "to cut apart" or "to bind together". – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '18 at 18:42
  • @Kevin: I have no idea what you're getting at there. Sid here is asking about single words that can have different (wildly different? opposite?) meanings. How does that relate to homonyms (words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins)? I don't suppose Two people left the room, so there were only four people left involves different etymologies. – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '18 at 18:54
  • Auto-Antonym was indeed what I was looking for, @Kevin – Sid Feb 28 '18 at 19:18
  • ok then, cleaned up my comments – Kevin Feb 28 '18 at 19:19

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