Questions tagged [antonyms]

An antonym is a word with a meaning opposite to another word.

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0answers
28 views

What type of antonym pair is borrow and lend? (and more generally, what's the relationship between relational vs. reversive antonyms?)

I've seen different sources (linguistics textbooks, online sources) classify the pair as "reversive" or as "relational/converse" antonyms. More generally, it seems sources vary in ...
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3answers
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What title can be used in opposition of “Diseases of Attitude”?

I've been recently asked to watch a video titled "Diseases of Attitude". It's essentially a metaphor for people with attitude problems. I'm intrigued to make an opposing title, such as "...
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67 views

Are there any pairs of English words that are cognate to each other yet have opposite meanings?

Alright, here's the best way I can explain this: if, hypothetically, the word pairs (love, loathe) and (friend, fiend) were cognates (i.e. they shared an etymological ancestor), they would be ...
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2answers
53 views

What's a synonym for transcend, but in a downward (metaphorical) direction?

Is there a word that could fill in the blank of this sentence I'm trying to write? Another way to broaden possible adoption and impact is to work on problems or solutions that cross the boundaries of ...
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1answer
56 views

Positive antonym for trendy in fashion or overall personal appearance? [duplicate]

How do you describe someone's fashion sense in a positive way when it is the opposite of 'trendy'? By opposite of trendy I mean that it may still be considered to 'look good' (even though this is ...
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32 views

Why is the “r” doubled in “arrhythmia”? [duplicate]

Why is the "r" doubled in "arrhythmia" relative to "rhythmia"? I'm guessing it's because English resists hyphenation of prefixes and suffixes ("a-rhythmia"), ...
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45 views

A synonym for “don't omit” not including a negativiser

I have a technical document with a lot of sentences like "Use X." or "Don't use Y." Instead of "Don't use ..." I sometimes use "Omit ...". Whether to choose the ...
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5answers
364 views

What is the opposite of 'lockdown'?

The opposite of 'lock' is quite clearly 'unlock'. But what is the single-word opposite of 'lockdown' ? The family were relieved when the time came to _________________. EDIT : The comment is noted ...
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17answers
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What's a word for the exact opposite of regret?

I know you can say you were "super glad you did something," but I'm looking for a word that expresses this in nominal form, i.e. the opposite of "my biggest regret." (my biggest ...
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1answer
36 views

Antonym of defuse?

Which is the best antonym for defuse? Ideally it would be fuse, but I don't think this is an option. Maybe activate?
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69 views

“Scientists and poets” — translation of the Russian phrase

In Russian, we have a phrase, which divides people on two categores - left brain and right brain. This is "physicists and lyricists" (физики и лирики). The first better work with maths ...
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4answers
122 views

Opposite: “Truer words were never spoken”

What would be the opposite of the phrase "Truer words were never spoken" ? "I am truly grateful", said Alfred. "Untruer words were never spoken", snided Shelly.
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1answer
56 views

Opposite phrase of “close the distance”

What would be an appropriate opposite phrase for "close the distance". Example: The rabbit was fast. With every leap, the rabbit {{ grew the distance }} between it and the hunter.
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Is there a term for a phrase in which an antonym can be switched-in and yet it still retains the same, or synonymous, meaning as the original?

For example, Based on/Based off, Break up/Break down, Write up/Write down, Up for/Down for, Went on/Went off, Slow up/Slow down These all retain similar meanings when substituting with antonyms. ...
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2answers
66 views

What's the counterpart term for “vassalage”?

Vassalage is the noun for having mutual obligations with a social superior in a feudal state, more or less. What's the noun for this relationship going the other way? That is, if vassalage describes ...
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1answer
38 views

A situation where the adjective being used to describe the noun is actually the opposite of the adjective being used

Forgive me, for I am not very eloquent. If someone were to tell a bad joke but in the given scenario it got some laughs and could be recounted as a “good joke” then the joke was _____. On the ...
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9answers
6k views

Is there a pessimistic counterpart to the term “Pollyanna”?

The term "Pollyanna" came into the lexicon with the 1913 publication of Pollyanna, a novel by Eleanor H. Porter. The name has come to mean A person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic....
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1answer
88 views

What is the opposite of the word “Not”? [closed]

We are working on a technical manual and we'd like to have a word that is opposite to the word "Not". Generally, the accepted way to address this is to omit the word itself. In this case however, it ...
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2answers
135 views

Correct opposite of checkbox ticked

I want to write "If left unticked ......" , but it seems like unticked is not a word(or is it?), what would the correct opposite of ticked because I use "If ticked ...." at the beginning of paragraph.
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1answer
73 views

What is the opposite of 'generously' in reference to credit-given or leniency?

'Generous' can be used to describe an amount of credit-given or leniency. When used in this way, what is the counterpart word that would imply a lack of leniency? The closest word I have is 'austere', ...
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2answers
89 views

Opposite of leaps and bounds

I was looking for a phrase that conveys the opposite meaning of leaps and bounds. For e.g, unlike suiteM, which can be learnt in leaps and bound in just a day, the learning of suiteE occurs in ...
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2answers
120 views

In Rock paper scissors, rock is scissors' “Kryptonite”, scissors are “what” to rock?

I'm trying to find a word for something that always beats something else. Kryptonite might be used for something that you always lose to. From Superman, of course. e.g. Rock is scissors' kryptonite (...
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1answer
74 views

What is the 'counterpart' of unprecedented?

I'm not looking for the literal antonym. Unprecedented means 'never seen/happened before then', but what is the word for 'never seen/happened since then'? I have a feeling it might be unrepeated, ...
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2answers
92 views

Antonym for “evangelist” (in modern/technology industry usage)

The term "evangelist" gets used a lot by tech companies as a job title to describe those who try to push knowledge, use, and acceptance of a product, service, or company in a way which promotes the ...
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Antonyms of “Prefer…Over” [closed]

Is "I prefer coffee over tea" Equivalent to "I defer tea over coffer"?
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1answer
73 views

Antonym of verb “mint”

I am looking for the antonym of the verb "mint" in the context of creating value assets, like coins; for example: The Royal Mint has the right to mint new coins. What is the opposite, when coins ...
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2answers
68 views

Persuade antonym - unintentional

Background Imagine you are a presidential candidate. You have a potential winning policy idea. Now is time to finesse the details. Your fundamental goal is persuade as many people as possible about ...
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3answers
180 views

Is there an antonym for nihilist?

I'm specifically thinking of nihilism as defined here: Nihilism is the philosophical viewpoint that denies or lacks belief in any or all of the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Not nihilism in ...
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2answers
139 views

Is there a word for the opposite of a gift

In the way that we can think of a gift as given under obligation, like to signify a relationship at Christmas or to show love for a spouse, is there a word for a thing taken. A word for that thing ...
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1answer
168 views

Opposite of “to put on the back burner”

To "put on the backburner" is to postpone, potentially indefinitely. The closest I can muster to its opposite is to "put back on the table". Is there a better way to to phrase the idea of assuming a ...
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2answers
92 views

Opposite of ‘Irredeemable’ in Describing a Trait

I am helping a friend write a recommendation letter. To me, he has one trait - tenacity - that makes him an excellent worker for his industry, as once he latches onto a problem, he persists in ...
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3answers
151 views

What's the opposite of telemetry? [closed]

The word is derived from Greek the roots tele, "remote", and metron, "measure". So what word is opposite?
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1answer
153 views

Antonym of “color blind”? [closed]

What is the antonym of "color blind"? We do not assume that our customers are _____. After all, 5% of our potential customers are color blind.
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4answers
88 views

Is there a word for not being sympathetic to a position, but also not being ardent towards it? [closed]

Is there a word for something like, "moderate opposition?" Context: A friend and I are trying to find or create a phrase for someone who isn't an anti-theistic militant atheist, but also isn't an ...
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9answers
5k views

Antonym for “boilerplate” or “cookie-cutter”

Context: Your advice was so valuable because it went far beyond the cookie-cutter tips typical of coffee chats or quick phone calls.
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2answers
202 views

What is the counterpart of a consultant?

Someone who is consulted is a consultant, but what is his counterpart called? In other words, what do you call the person who consults them? Asker sounds informal, consulter doesn't pass my spell ...
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Brief / debrief, flammable / inflammable — is there a term for pairs of words that appear to be antonyms but aren't? [duplicate]

Is there a word for a pair of words that would appear to be antonyms from their construction, but actually have the same or similar meanings? For example, brief / debrief. From The Guardian: A ...
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4answers
122 views

Antonym for “physical” as in “physical task”?

In my personal issue tracker, I want to sort tasks into one of two categories: The first category is labeled "physical" and contains all tasks involving physical work, e.g. housecleaning or handiwork. ...
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1answer
39 views

“We should not confuse generalization with […?…]” (looking for the word that says: it's true for everybody or in any situation)

Definition of generalization: A generalization is a statement that seems to be true in most situations or for most people, but that may not be completely true in all cases. What word would you use ...
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4answers
185 views

Single word for inveigling someone to lower their guard

I’m looking for a verb with the rough meaning of softening someone’s guard, leaving them more open to attack. However, it should be a verb that means to make a target soften their guard. It’s for the ...
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3answers
126 views

Debt is to deficit as ______ is to surplus?

Each year a country may be in national deficit or surplus. National deficit either increases national debt or eventually leads to debt. National debt of the United States National surplus either ...
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0answers
30 views

Can you have 'manipulative eloquence'?

Sorry if this is not a good question, but I really like how this phrase sounds, and wanted to describe Lady Macbeth with it in an essay, however I wasn't too sure whether it made sense, as I searched ...
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4answers
2k views

Antonym of “billable” [closed]

I am looking for the opposite of billable; the context would be "billable hours". A complete example sentence could be Sorry boss, the work I did from 9 to 10 is "not billable". While writing a ...
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3answers
287 views

Opposite of 'taking baby steps' [closed]

I already have giant steps / huge strides in the context of 'Having previously taken tentative, half-hearted baby-steps Sophia began taking -------- towards attaining her life's ambitions'.
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3answers
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What word can I use as opposite of trapping?

I am trying to describe a region of a random walk on a graph (don't worry if you don't know what it is, visualise it as a physical space, e.g. a park). This graph has a part that if you go there, you ...
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3answers
9k views

Is there an antonym (a complementary antonym) for “spicy” or “hot” regarding food (I DO NOT mean “seasoned”, but “hot”)?

I’m talking about the burning feeling you get when eating chillis, raw onions, and other food. I’m looking for a way to explain that I do not like that burning feeling, be it onions, chillis, a spicy ...
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1answer
90 views

What is an antonym for “hagiography”?

A hagiography is a book or long article which praises and exaggerates the characteristics of the subject and lauds his/her accomplishments. Historically it is about a saint. I am looking for an ...
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1answer
275 views

Why is the antonym of “within” not “without”

I'd suspect that many people would agree with the statement that the antonym of "in" is "out", except for some peculiar situations perhaps. My natural chain of shower-thoughts led me to the word "...
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2answers
174 views

What is a true antonym for “stronger”?

The word "stronger" means simply having more strength than, however when saying A is stronger than B, it does not imply that B is not strong just that A has more strength (B is strong but A is ...
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1answer
27 views

Hygroscopic substances

The terms 'desiccant' and 'humectant' are opposites of each other. However, both of them have been described as 'hygroscopic' substances. If desiccant and humectant are opposites of each other, how ...

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