Antonyms

Antonyms are words having opposite or contrary meaning. The following are the different categories of antonyms: graded antonyms, complementary antonyms, and relational antonyms. Graded antonyms deal with levels of the meaning of the words, like if something which is not “good”, may still not be “bad.” There is a scale involved with a number of words, and besides good and bad, there can be average, fair, excellent, terrible, poor, or satisfactory. Examples: first - last; foolish - wise

Complementary antonyms have a relationship where there is no middle ground. There are only two possibilities, either one or the other. E.g., push - pull; dead - alive

Relational antonyms are sometimes considered a subcategory of complementary antonyms. With these pairs, the opposite makes sense only in the context of the relationship between the two meanings. E.g., teacher- student; predator – prey.

Some antonyms are formed in the following way: by adding a prefix – ‘un’. E.g., likely - unlikely; able – unable. By adding the prefix “non”, we can make the opposite pairs: E.g., conformist - nonconformist; Payment – nonpayment; combatant – noncombatant.

Now look at some more miscellaneous words with their Antonyms: pacify (to placate) – Incite; recalcitrant (obstinate/ stubborn) - docile; turbulent (violent/disordered - orderly ; obsolete (archaic) - contemporary.

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