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 Republicans are betting on antipathy toward President Biden in their campaign pitches. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Former WWE wrestler, Trump administration officials and congressman's widow are among 23 candidates in Texas House race," 20 Apr. 2021 Republicans have little political incentive to cooperate with Democrats given the antipathy to any form of firearms restrictions among grassroots conservatives persuaded by GOP arguments that any restrictions are unconstitutional. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Mass shootings and the Chauvin trial force America to confront its culture of violence," 19 Apr. 2021 Public opinion polls, meanwhile, have shown growing antipathy among U.S. residents toward the Chinese government, which is increasingly seen by those surveyed as an economic threat. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, "U.S. considering boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s human rights abuses," 6 Apr. 2021 Polls have shown voters for decades have harbored antipathy toward Congress as a body, but support their own representative. Philip Elliott, Time, "Think the System Is Broken? You’re Not Alone," 31 Mar. 2021 There were virtually no fans, so there was virtually no antipathy. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "Whatever his flaws, Kelvin Sampson a reminder IU can still be a winner," 20 Mar. 2021 Lee and Romney voted against Haaland’s confirmation as Interior secretary, citing her antipathy to resource extraction on public lands. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Biden is poised to expand Bears Ears and Grand Staircase monuments. The real question is by how much?," 11 Apr. 2021 Few things have been more constant during Newsom’s 26 months as California’s governor than his antipathy for the former president’s policies and politics. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Making California’s recall about Trump," 15 Mar. 2021 Shutting down voices will result in creating a social pressure cooker, where people’s inner resentment or fear of speaking will turn to bitterness and antipathy. Ira Bedzow, Forbes, "Why Is Anti-Semitism Still So Cool? What Meyers Leonard’s Anti-Semitic Slur Says About Anti-Semitic Attitudes Today," 11 Mar. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antipathy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 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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