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 antithetical (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 antithetical (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

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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 To me, that is antithetical to the beauty of humanity. BostonGlobe.com, 9 June 2021 And to rest on her laurels was clearly antithetical to her nature. Sigrid Nunez, The New York Review of Books, 11 May 2021 Yes, some of Jenner's history and actions feel antithetical to progressive social values. Allison Hope, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 By proving, Sally Singer writes, that vulnerability and modesty are not antithetical to chic. Sally Singer, Vogue, 25 Apr. 2021 The gist of the Hannity interview was consistent with one of Mr. McCarthy’s recurring themes of late: Democrats are acting in a heavy-handed manner antithetical to Mr. Biden’s conciliatory impulses. New York Times, 25 Apr. 2021 In the movie, Spurrier was goofily played by a foppish Alan Rickman, an antithetical portrayal of Spurrier, who in real life was down to earth and elegant in both appearance and demeanor—a fact unchallenged by anyone who ever met him. Lana Bortolot, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 Unfortunately, for far too long, my father’s advice was seen by many as antithetical to success. Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2021 But since Weeksville is a monument to Black home-ownership, some saw the transfer of those leases to the city as antithetical to its mission. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for antithetical

Time Traveler

The first known use of antithetical was in 1583

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Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antithetical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antithetical. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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