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In terms of talking, what is the opposite of a loud voice?

For example, when someone is talking and I can not hear them properly, how can I say to them that their voice is very "opposite to loud"?

Is "your voice is very low/quiet/soft" correct?

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    Have you checked for antonyms of loud in a dictionary? Which one do you think is most suitable? Jun 11, 2022 at 5:41
  • @KillingTime yes, i got quiet, soft. But it does not seem convincing to me. Jun 11, 2022 at 5:56
  • Whisper, murmur or synonyms thereof...
    – Tragamor
    Jun 11, 2022 at 6:27
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    "Your voice is very quiet/soft" gets the meaning across. You could also ask them to speak more loudly or to 'speak up'. Jun 11, 2022 at 7:49
  • Try "Your voice is inaudible" or "You are inaudible" ....
    – Prem
    Jun 11, 2022 at 12:32

1 Answer 1

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Antonym is a concept that's widely misunderstood. It involves negation, always a slippery concept, and supposes that there are pairs of opposed words X and Y, where X means not Y, and Y means not X. Like high and low or right and left. But there aren't that many.

There is no such thing as "the antonym for the word loud", because

  1. Not every word has an antonym. Most don't, in fact.
  2. Some words have many antonyms. Small has dozens, for instance.
  3. There are many dimensions in which opposition may occur.

In the case of loud, one could be referring to excess noise, where silent or quiet would be opposites. Or one could be referring to machine noise or animal noises or human speech or music, each with their own stable of words implying aural phenomena. Or it could be referring to volume, and that's a scale with a number of words on it, usually with vertical displacement (high vs low). And then there's the metaphorical uses -- loud clothing is opposed by conventional or subdued, for instance. And one could go on.

And one could do the same for synonym, as far as that goes. The point is that meaning is not a simple matter; meaning doesn't come from dictionaries, and opposites and equivalents are not a simple matter of looking things up.

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