an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈti-pə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Definition of antipathy

1 : a strong feeling of dislike an antipathy to taxes a deep antipathy between the groups
2 : something disliked : an object of aversion … perhaps his greatest antipathies were cabs, old women, doors that would not shut …— Charles Dickens
3 obsolete : opposition in feeling

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Choose the Right Synonym for antipathy

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed. an unspoken enmity hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression. hostility between the two nations antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility. a natural antipathy for self-seekers antagonism between the brothers animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility. animosity that led to revenge rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong. rancor filled every line of his letters animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice. objections devoid of personal animus

Did You Know?

When the nation of Yugoslavia was created in 1945, it combined a number of ethnic groups with a history of violent antipathy toward each other. In 1991–92 four regions of the country announced that they would become independent nations; a bloody six-year war followed, fueled by these ancient and powerful antipathies. The American Civil War similarly resulted from antipathy between the North and the South. But in the U.S.'s relations with its next-door neighbors, it's been a long time since emotions have gotten much stronger than annoyance.

Examples of antipathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This antipathy, which has of course gone viral on the internet, is mostly directed at Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor. The Economist, "Restrictions and rebellion follow New York City’s covid-19 surge," 17 Oct. 2020 The sense of antipathy between the two former Republican presidents and their inner circles was mutual. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Jim Clyburn: Bush called me Biden's 'savior'," 21 Jan. 2021 Qatar and Turkey don’t share their antipathy toward the Muslim Brotherhood. Abbas Al Lawati,, "UAE Has ‘No Reason’ to Be in Conflict With Turkey, Minister Says," 11 Jan. 2021 Schultz still shows up at rallies, and he's still motivated by antipathy toward antifa. CNN, "He's an ex-Proud Boy. Here's what he says happens within the group's ranks," 25 Nov. 2020 But their predictions of a second consecutive wave powered by antipathy for Mr. Trump had been dashed by Wednesday morning. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Republicans Tighten Hold on Senate, but Control Could Be Decided in Runoffs," 4 Nov. 2020 But with traditional Arab nationalist powers such as Egypt, Libya and Syria laid low by internal instability, the monarchies used their growing power to reject one of the Arab world’s most enduring preoccupations: antipathy toward Israel. NBC News, "10 years after Arab Spring, autocratic regimes hold the upper hand," 19 Dec. 2020 Brook’s antipathy toward evidence and expertise is nothing new in America and especially in Alabama. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Whitmire: Mo Brooks knows better than you," 4 Dec. 2020 Democratic officials attribute the amount raised to antipathy toward Trump, the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden's vice presidential nominee and a successful convention that showcased Biden's empathy in contrast to Trump. Brian Slodysko, Star Tribune, "Biden raises over $360 million in August, shattering record," 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antipathy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antipathy

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for antipathy

Latin antipathia, from Greek antipatheia, from antipathēs of opposite feelings, from anti- + pathos experience — more at pathos

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Learn More about antipathy

Time Traveler for antipathy

Time Traveler

The first known use of antipathy was in 1592

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Statistics for antipathy

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antipathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for antipathy


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈti-pə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Kids Definition of antipathy

: a strong feeling of dislike


an·​tip·​a·​thy | \ an-ˈtip-ə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \
plural antipathies

Medical Definition of antipathy

1 : settled aversion or dislike
2 : an object of aversion

Other Words from antipathy

antipathic \ ˌant-​i-​ˈpath-​ik How to pronounce antipathy (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on antipathy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antipathy

Nglish: Translation of antipathy for Spanish Speakers

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