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 And that may just be sufficient, coupled with antipathy among Democrats toward Trump, to start building a delegate firewall, starting in Iowa. Philip Elliott / Creston, Time, "Biden's Holiday Pitch to Iowa: I'm the Best Candidate to Beat Trump," 23 Dec. 2019 Chan said antipathy toward Hong Kong spiked in August after protesters shut the airport and attacked two men from mainland China., "HONG KONG — It was the second day of Golden Week, usually one of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping periods, and Matthew Tam and his co-workers at a jewelry store were looking as lonely as a band of Maytag repairmen, surrounded by display cases of luxury watches with nary a customer in sight.," 14 Oct. 2019 Some of the popular antipathy towards Herod’s claims to Jewishness, however, had xenophobic roots. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Mariamne I," 18 Dec. 2019 Social media is also driving pro-impeachment messaging, tapping into deep wells of liberal antipathy to Trump. Anchorage Daily News, "Fact-based impeachment can’t penetrate the pro-Trump Web," 14 Dec. 2019 The survey results also indicated the antipathy didn’t spread to GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, who had a net 3.3% negative job approval rating – within the margin of error. cleveland, "Ohio poll shows Donald Trump behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in possible 2020 matchups," 3 Oct. 2019 Such resentments are infused with racial antipathies since poor, black, and brown are synonymous to many Americans. Maria Kefalas, STAT, "Medicaid covers sick or dying children. But it takes ‘going to battle’ to get it," 2 Dec. 2019 And this could translate into more antipathy toward the out-group and its leader. Wired, "Empathy Is Tearing Us Apart," 9 Nov. 2019 This primeval realm is populated by a group of outcasts, led by a warrior, Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor), sympathetic to the newcomer's antipathy for the nasty queen. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil': Film Review," 15 Oct. 2019

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

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antipathy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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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 antipathic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on antipathy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antipathy

Spanish Central: Translation of antipathy

Nglish: Translation of antipathy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on antipathy

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