Antonyms

Antonyms are words of the same class that are opposite to each other in meaning. The word antonym itself takes the Greek word anti, meaning "opposite," and adds it to –onym, which comes from the Greek onoma, or "name." So, the literal meaning of an antonym is "opposite-name."

A word that has the exact opposite meaning of another word is its antonym. Life is full of antonyms, from the "stop" and "go" of a traffic signal to side-by-side restroom doors labeled "men" and "women." We have antonyms from verbs such as “borrow” and “lend”. Antonyms from adjectives are there such as “all” and “none” and also from nouns such as “civility” and “rudeness”. Most antonyms are pretty obvious, like "good" and "bad," or "black" and "white." There are some words that can be transformed into their antonyms simply by adding the prefixes "un," "in," or "non," as when "predictable" is changed into its antonym, "unpredictable."

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