Definition of antonym
- The usual antonym of good is bad.
“Hot” and “cold” are antonyms.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antonym.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The English language (and, we may presume, many other languages) has both antonyms and synonyms. There are many more words with synonyms than there are words with antonyms, since many things exist which do not have an opposite (the word sandwich, for instance, may be said to have synonyms in the words hoagie, grinder, submarine, and many other words, but there is no opposite of sandwich). Antonym is also a much more recent addition to English than synonym is; it first appeared in the 1860s, whereas synonym has been used for more than 500 years. Additionally, both nouns have adjectival forms: synonymous and antonymous. Synonymous, which is often used loosely ("She has become synonymous with good taste"), is the more common of the two.
: a word with a meaning that is opposite to the meaning of another word
What made you want to look up antonym? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz