Definition of antithesis
1a : the direct opposite Her temperament is the very antithesis of mine.b (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 versec : the second of two opposing words, clauses, or sentences that are being rhetorically contrasted
2 philosophy : the second stage of a dialectical process
Examples of antithesis in a Sentence
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
Yet the newest residential rage in Dallas is the antithesis of the traditional neighborhood: the gated community. Depending on your income and level of anxiety, these private enclaves may contain golf courses, health clubs and equestrian centers … —Paul McFedries, Word Spy, 2004
Cato, who dosed his family on cabbage soup, derided Greek physicians as the antithesis of Roman virtue: they were frauds who cheated patients and ‘have sworn to kill all barbarians with their drugs’. —Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, 1997
true love for another is the antithesis of the desire to control that person's life
Recent Examples of antithesis from the Web
This 7-series seems the exact antithesis of that (usually wishful) notion.
Meanwhile, in the antithesis of surprises, Judge remains the league’s top vote-getter.
But the mafia shouldn’t be seen as the antithesis of government, and rather as an alternative apparatus.
In short order, Bohannon presented himself as the antithesis of Goff -- his predecessor who was fired May 24 following his inaugural season, in part, because of his heavy-handed approach and his intractability.
Miller is spot on and delightfully funny as the seemingly daft court counselor Polonius, in many ways the antithesis of Hamlet’s absent father and uncaring uncle.
Real Madrid is the antithesis of much of modern soccer’s dominant thinking.
Chris was so the antithesis of that voice in his quiet, reserved way.
In short, this is the antithesis of a feel-good book.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antithesis'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Writers and speechmakers use the traditional pattern known as antithesis for its resounding effect; John Kennedy's famous "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country" is an example. But antithesis normally means simply "opposite". Thus, war is the antithesis of peace, wealth is the antithesis of poverty, and love is the antithesis of hate. Holding two antithetical ideas in one's head at the same time—for example, that you're the sole master of your fate but also the helpless victim of your terrible upbringing—is so common as to be almost normal.
ANTITHESIS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of antithesis for English Language Learners
: the exact opposite of something or someone
: the state of two things that are directly opposite to each other
ANTITHESIS Defined for Kids
Definition of antithesis for Students
: the exact opposite Poverty is the antithesis of wealth.
Seen and Heard
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