noun an·tith·e·sis \an-ˈti-thə-səs\

: the exact opposite of something or someone

: the state of two things that are directly opposite to each other

plural an·tith·e·ses \-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of ANTITHESIS

a (1) :  the rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences (as in action, not words or they promised freedom and provided slavery) (2) :  opposition, contrast <the antithesis of prose and verse>
b (1) :  the second of two opposing words, clauses, or sentences that are being rhetorically contrasted
(2) :  the direct opposite <her temperament is the very antithesis of mine>
:  the second stage of a dialectic process

Examples of ANTITHESIS

  1. <true love for another is the antithesis of the desire to control that person's life>
  2. In urban areas, middle schools often became the antithesis of what reformers had intended. Instead of warm incubators of independence and judgment, they became impersonal, oppressive institutions. —Claudia Wallis, Time, 8 Aug. 2005


Late Latin, from Greek, literally, opposition, from antitithenai to oppose, from anti- + tithenai to set — more at do
First Known Use: 1529

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
ANTITHESIS Defined for Kids


noun an·tith·e·sis \an-ˈti-thə-səs\
plural an·tith·e·ses \-ə-ˌsēz\

Definition of ANTITHESIS for Kids

:  the exact opposite <Poverty is the antithesis of wealth.>


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