antithetical

adjective
an·​ti·​thet·​i·​cal | \ ˌan-tə-ˈthe-ti-kəl How to pronounce antithetical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly antithetic \ ˌan-​tə-​ˈthe-​tik How to pronounce antithetic (audio) \

Definition of antithetical

1 : being in direct and unequivocal opposition : directly opposite or opposed … some see the idea of a museum for rock & roll as antithetical to the music's rebellious ethic …— Al Weisel
2 : constituting or marked by antithesis antithetical conflict

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Other Words from antithetical

antithetically \ ˌan-​tə-​ˈthe-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antithetically (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for antithetical

opposite, contradictory, contrary, antithetical mean being so far apart as to be or seem irreconcilable. opposite applies to things in sharp contrast or in conflict. opposite views on foreign aid contradictory applies to two things that completely negate each other so that if one is true or valid the other must be untrue or invalid. made contradictory predictions about whether the market would rise or fall contrary implies extreme divergence or diametrical opposition. contrary assessments of the war situation antithetical stresses clear and unequivocal diametrical opposition. a law that is antithetical to the very idea of democracy

Did You Know?

Antithetical and "antithesis" entered English in the 16th century. Their etymological paths pass through Late Latin and ultimately lead to Greek (the Greek words antitithenai and "antithesis" mean "to oppose" and "opposition," respectively). The oldest sense of the English "antithesis" refers to a language pattern that contrasts parallel ideas, as in "action, not words" or "they promised freedom and provided slavery." "Antithetical" can mean "constituting or marked by such language patterns." For example, you could say "The phrase 'action, not words' is an antithetical construction." It is more common in current use, however, for "antithesis" to mean "the exact opposite" and for "antithetical" to mean "directly opposite."

Examples of antithetical in a Sentence

the antithetical forces of good and evil spiritual concerns and ideals that are antithetical to the materialism embraced by modern society

Recent Examples on the Web

This action is antithetical to our countries’ shared democratic values that are the basis for a strong, bipartisan alliance. NBC News, "Democrats blast Israel's 'dangerous' decision to bar Omar, Tlaib from entering the country," 15 Aug. 2019 However tempting, building a national presence is ubiquity, which is antithetical to true luxury and brand-damaging. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Barneys’ Bankruptcy Shows Dangers of Luxe Department Store Expansions," 7 Aug. 2019 Critics say that forcing environmental reviews on Navigation Centers that meet all other requirements is antithetical to solving the homeless crisis. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "New law eliminates appeals for new Navigation Centers," 6 Aug. 2019 The president and his supporters have called Democrats soft on enforcement, while Democrats counter that the wall and inhumane treatment of those seeking asylum are antithetical to the core values of the United States. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, "In Wisconsin Swing District, a Range of Views on Immigration," 31 July 2019 This collectivist agenda is antithetical to America’s premise, which is: Government — including such public goods as roads, schools and police — is instituted to facilitate individual striving, aka the pursuit of happiness. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Is the individual obsolete?," 17 July 2019 Some crypto enthusiasts have been quick to point out that the centralized control by the Libra Association is antithetical to the decentralized promise of blockchain technology. Timothy Massad, Fortune, "Is Facebook Libra a Betrayal of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision?," 15 July 2019 However, playing more games is antithetical to the league’s player safety aims and completely contradictory to its crusade to cut down on injuries, particularly the rate of concussions. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The NFL’s bid to expand regular season a reckless pursuit of revenue," 15 July 2019 For Orania, marooned in a country seen as antithetical to its values, that concept held great appeal. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antithetical.' 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 antithetical

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for antithetical

see antithesis

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for antithetical

The first known use of antithetical was in 1583

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