an·​tip·​a·​thy an-ˈti-pə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio)
plural antipathies
: a strong feeling of dislike
an antipathy to taxes
a deep antipathy between the groups
: something disliked : an object of aversion
… perhaps his greatest antipathies were cabs, old women, doors that would not shut …Charles Dickens
obsolete : opposition in feeling
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

Examples of antipathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a recent New Republic article, my colleague and friend Timothy Noah posited that Republican antipathy to anything with Biden’s name attached to it explains much of the president’s polling doldrums on the economy. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 28 July 2023 Like Saul Bellow’s Herzog, Mrs. Grade wrote letters to countless figures voicing her grievances, many of which underscore the depth of her antipathy toward Singer. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 6 Mar. 2023 While Pence has hinted at his antipathy toward Trump and, in particular, his former boss’ conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, the intensity has increased of late. Philip Elliott, Time, 8 Aug. 2023 Waters’ antipathy toward C.J., much like John Claggart’s hostility toward Billy Budd, has a strong element of self-hate. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2023 But their mutual antipathy is cover for their mutual attraction. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Aug. 2023 This transformation has occurred despite broad antipathy, and at times hostility, from the state’s mostly Republican lawmakers. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 July 2023 Their habitats overlap, too, giving rise to a mutual antipathy that is literally the stuff of legend. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, 27 July 2023 An understanding of transference and countertransference was crucial for cultivating the whole child, who, Lay argues, harbored a profound antipathy to the very principle of education, rooted in an early resentment of parental figures. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 11 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'antipathy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of antipathy was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near antipathy

Cite this Entry

“Antipathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​tip·​a·​thy an-ˈtip-ə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio)
plural antipathies
: a strong dislike
: a person or thing that arouses strong dislike

Medical Definition


an·​tip·​a·​thy an-ˈtip-ə-thē How to pronounce antipathy (audio)
plural antipathies
: settled aversion or dislike
: an object of aversion
antipathic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on antipathy

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