Is there a good phrase or word that means the opposite of "coexist"?

The phrase I am using it in is similar to "these two ideas need not (be) __."


4 Answers 4


Mutually exclusive

Two things that can't happen at the same time.



"These two (noun)s need not _____"

Some ideas:

  1. Disagree
  2. Differ
  3. Conflict
  4. Contradict

Depends on the context but in many instances the opposite of coexistence is persecution.

  • 2
    Persecution isn't suitable for the context given in the question, grammatically or semantically. Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 21:22
  • 1
    Also, exist derives from Latin existĕre, which you will note is a Latin conjugation other than the 1st (-are) conjugation — and therefore does not take -ance in English but rather -ence. These things matter.
    – tchrist
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 21:25
  • I didn't read the phrase. Yes, given the context, "persecution" is not a valid answer. Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 20:14

"disparate" comes to mind. Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar:

"diametrically opposed" also comes to mind.

how about "at odds?" or "Immiscible".

or "irreconcilable"?

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