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

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

Did you know?

Antithetical and antithesis come from Greek antitithenai ("to oppose"). The oldest sense of antithesis refers to a language pattern that contrasts parallel ideas, as in "action, not words" or "they promised freedom and provided slavery," and antithetical originally referred to anything that was marked by such antithesis. For example, you could say "The phrase 'action, not words' is an antithetical construction." It is more common, 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 And both those moments, ironically, were diametrically antithetical to each other. Deepa Mehta, Variety, 16 May 2022 Make no mistake: Monopoly power is directly antithetical to the promise of a free and open internet. Evan Greer For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 10 May 2022 Nothing could be more antithetical to the image the star had carefully cultivated over more than three decades of blockbuster movies, hit singles and an abundance of successful side projects. Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Few brands could claim to be more antithetical to the Soviet ethos — or emblematic of the Western alternative. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2022 For her, the phenomenon of ostracizing, bullying and boycotting someone for a mistake, however gross or loathsome, is fundamentally antithetical to Christ’s teachings of compassion and forgiveness. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Feb. 2022 That quality’s in abundance in the Day-Lewis anecdote; the remark is both literally concise and implies that doing too much as an actor is almost antithetical to the whole activity. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, 27 Jan. 2022 These concepts are wholly antithetical to his regime, whose purpose is to make use of unlimited state power to enrich its rulers. Robert Zubrin, National Review, 10 May 2021 The Court’s decision is antithetical to the University of California’s mission and values. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 24 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of antithetical

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for antithetical

see antithesis

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The first known use of antithetical was in 1583

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antithetic theory

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Antithetical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on antithetical

Nglish: Translation of antithetical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of antithetical for Arabic Speakers


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