To begin with, thank you for your help. I am looking for a word that describes repetition of word with a change of its prefix. My only thought is "the repetition of affixed antonyms." This is derived from a question I found on this site, "What do you call a pair of words with opposite meanings that differ only by a prefix?". Any type of word would work. The following is an excerpt from my literary essay. For context, this would refer to the use of fortune and misfortune:

The narrator comments, “those who had no share in the good fortunes of the mighty / Often have a share in their misfortunes” (20). The author uses blank to juxtapose...

Thank you!

  • Antonyms based on the same word?
    – Peter
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 23:51

1 Answer 1



Polyptoton is a device in which there is a repetition of words with the same root for rhetorical effect.

This short excerpt from Polonius in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet carries many examples both of simple repetition and of polyptoton. The repetitions of “tis true,” “tis pity,” and “mad” are just that—repetitions. Then we see Polonius’s verbal prowess continue with the polyptoton examples of “defect” and “defective” as well as “remains” and “remainder.” Indeed, “effect” and “defect” are also polyptoton examples because they share the same etymological origin of the Latin suffix “-fect,” which means “to do.” The words are opposite, yet share a common root.

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