autoantonym

noun
au·​to·​an·​to·​nym | \ ˌȯ-(ˌ)tō-ˈan-tə-ˌnim How to pronounce autoantonym (audio) \
plural autoantonyms

Definition of autoantonym

: contronym I loved “perspicacious” and “recondite” and “hortatory” and “cleave,” the last of which meant the opposite of itself, both to join and to tear apart. “Impregnable” was an autoantonym, too. It was like a snake that ate its own tail.— Joshua Henkin, New York Times, 25 Aug. 2013

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First Known Use of autoantonym

1983, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of autoantonym was in 1983

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Cite this Entry

“Autoantonym.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autoantonym. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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