opposite

adjective
op·​po·​site | \ ˈä-pə-zət How to pronounce opposite (audio) , ˈäp-sət\

Definition of opposite

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : set over against something that is at the other end or side of an intervening (see intervene sense 4) line or space opposite interior angles opposite ends of a diameter
b : situated in pairs on an axis (see axis sense 3) with each member being separated from the other by half the circumference (see circumference sense 2) of the axis opposite leaves — compare alternate
2a : occupying an opposing and often antagonistic position opposite sides of the question
b : diametrically different (as in nature or character) opposite meanings
3 : contrary to one another or to a thing specified : reverse gave them opposite directions
4 : being the other of a pair that are corresponding (see corresponding sense 1a) or complementary (see complementary sense 2) in position, function, or nature In the final position, the two exchanged rooks and left bishops of opposite color, a position that often leads to a draw …The Chicago Sun Times — see also opposite sex
5 : of, relating to, or being the side of a baseball field that is near the first base line for a right-handed batter and near the third base line for a left-handed batter

opposite

noun

Definition of opposite (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : something that is opposed to some other often specified thing
2 : antonym
3 : additive inverse especially : the additive inverse of a real number

opposite

adverb

Definition of opposite (Entry 3 of 4)

: on or to an opposite side

opposite

preposition

Definition of opposite (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : across from and usually facing or on the same level with sat opposite each other
2 : in a role complementary to played opposite the leading man in the comedy

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Other Words from opposite

Adjective

oppositely adverb
oppositeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for opposite

Synonyms: Adjective

antipodal, antipodean, antithetical, contradictory, contrary, diametric (or diametrical), polar

Synonyms: Noun

antipode, antithesis, contrary, counter, negative, obverse, reverse

Antonyms: Adjective

noncontradictory

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Choose the Right Synonym for opposite

Adjective

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

Examples of opposite in a Sentence

Adjective

The two boys lived on opposite sides of the street. the opposite bank of the river Fold the bottom right corner of the paper over to the opposite corner. The two scientists had the same information but reached opposite conclusions. They represent opposite sides of the issue. They ran in opposite directions. Her music is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the music her mother made.

Noun

“Wet” is the opposite of “dry.” The terms “black” and “white” are opposites.

Adverb

I sat down and he sat opposite.

Preposition

She lives in the house opposite ours. The school is opposite a park. I played opposite the best player in the league. She stars opposite Clint Eastwood in her latest movie.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

At low speeds, the back wheels turn in the opposite direction from the front wheels, allowing the car to turn in a tighter circle. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Bentley's new Flying Spur sedan can go 207 miles per hour," 12 June 2019 Past years have included go-karts, bowling and target shooting as a possible diversions before everyone heads in opposite directions. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Five takeaways from mandatory minicamp as Raiders ponder their celebrity," 12 June 2019 As Guttieres ran left around the car wash, he was apprehended by several officers who had approached from the opposite direction. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Aurora officer who fired four shots at fleeing suspect cleared of criminal charges," 11 June 2019 Some 700 miles to the south, the Alabama State Capitol, dominated by Republicans, has raced in the opposite direction. Timothy Williams, New York Times, "With Most States Under One Party’s Control, America Grows More Divided," 11 June 2019 After getting so close to reaching Nantucket, Fabris was being dragged, literally, in the opposite direction. Antonia Noori Farzan, Washington Post, "A 77-year-old ‘Moby Dick’ fan sailed from Italy to Nantucket — but his voyage ended 1,500 feet short," 11 June 2019 Remember, the two masses have the same tension force (but in opposite directions). Rhett Allain, WIRED, "Post-Apocalyptic Survival Skills: How to Measure Acceleration," 10 June 2019 The politics right now are going in the opposite direction, with growing divisions over what the plan should and shouldn’t do, compounded by harsh rhetoric among people who, ultimately, will have to agree to move it forward. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Future transportation plan needs unified approach. It’s not happening.," 9 June 2019 Yet the PERS Board could just as easily go in the opposite direction, jacking up its assumed earnings rate and giving employers and lawmakers further budget relief. oregonlive.com, "Will PERS Board follow lawmakers’ lead on pension reform, or buck them?," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Again, this is the opposite of the way many forward-thinking front offices operate. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Raptors showing wisdom of being bold," 8 June 2019 My father, his brother, my new Uncle Irving and new Aunt Jean are some of the kindest, nicest people who are devoted to their families and are the opposite of what their father was. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "Decades later, Delray man discovers half brothers," 7 June 2019 As TheLotter website explains, the opposite of hot numbers are cold numbers. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Want to win this week’s Mega Millions jackpot? Here are some things to avoid," 6 June 2019 The look is the opposite of the styles that Perry has shown us so far this year. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Katy Perry Just Debuted Peach Blonde, Long, Wavy Hair," 29 May 2019 Some studies, including one published in The BMJ in 2017, have found that e-cigarettes may improve a smoker’s chances of quitting successfully, but others have found the opposite. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Here's What Scientists Do—And Don't—Know About E-Cigarettes," 30 May 2018 Although this method is quite the opposite of a workout studio, celebrities like Selena Gomez and Demi Moore have flocked to Shape House’s five Los Angeles locations to sweat it out. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "6 Celebrity-Favorite Fitness Studios in Los Angeles," 12 Apr. 2019 Contrary to the fear that children of working mothers are at risk, the results of the study reveal quite the opposite. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "I'm a Working Mom—How Do I Not Feel Guilty?," 6 Nov. 2018 Game of Thrones' great Battle for Winterfell was the exact opposite of lit. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Don't Panic: Ghost Is Still Alive on Game of Thrones," 29 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Utomi plays opposite a host of equally talented actors including Paul Oakley Stovall as George Washington and Josh Tower as his friend, rival and nemesis Aaron Burr, who also serves as a narrator throughout the story. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "It's not a show, it's a movement. 'Hamilton' wows at Kentucky Center," 6 June 2019 Tex Panthollow ShutterstockGetty Images Original: James Coburn Recasted: John Mulaney Adding another immensely talented comedian to the mix, John Mulaney like Eichner (whom he guest starred opposite on Difficult People!) oozes timeless charm. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "Recasted: Who Would Star in a Charade Reboot?," 11 Feb. 2019 Casting talented, boyish Joseph Gordon in the key male role opposite stellar and statuesque Sara Mearns resulted in a peculiar match. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "Personnel Changes and Premieres," 9 Oct. 2018 Green lives opposite from red on the color wheel, so the former cancels out the latter. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "Erborian's CC Cream Cancels Out Redness Like Magic," 16 Oct. 2018 The biggest competition is for the cornerback spot opposite Lewis, and that role will likely not be filled until the fall as Thakarius Keyes, Jaylon Monroe and redshirt freshman Willie Langham battle for it. Joseph Halm, NOLA.com, "Tulane defense ready to show growth in spring game Friday," 12 Apr. 2018 Kidder, known for her role as Lois Lane in Superman I-IV, also starred opposite leading men including Robert Redford in The Great Waldo Pepper and Richard Pryor in Some Kind of Hero. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Superman' Star Margot Kidder Dies at 69," 14 May 2018 Kendrick, who plays Stephanie, stars opposite Blake Lively, who plays Emily. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "What The Hell Is This Blake Lively & Anna Kendrick Movie Even About?," 19 June 2018 This summer, Stanfield plays lead in Boots Riley’s brilliant Sorry To Bother You, opposite the equally enthralling Tessa Thompson. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "What’s in your bag, Lakeith Stanfield?," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

This picture, however, could offer a hint: Cartwright appears opposite Maura West, who plays Ava Jerome. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "General Hospital casts Alien actress Veronica Cartwright in secret role," 11 June 2019 But if the schedule is planned in advance, the early Pac-12 game would be slotted opposite Purdue-Minnesota and not a game involving Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Pac-12 football: The Hotline’s most radical schedule suggestion yet (play early … very early)," 6 June 2019 Associated Press reporters on the east side of the Tigris River, opposite the Green Zone, heard an explosion, after which alert sirens sounded briefly in Baghdad. Qassim Abdul-zahra, The Seattle Times, "Rocket attack hits near US Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone," 19 May 2019 The bench framed two large windows perfectly, just opposite the kitchen. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Every Inch of This House Is Designed to Inspire You," 10 Apr. 2019 During his final year at Juilliard, Driver first played Pale—appearing opposite his then girlfriend, the actress Joanne Tucker, now his wife—in what was the Juilliard equivalent of a senior thesis. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 Last year, Sharp Objects won over many a critic—largely thanks to Amy Adams's deft performance opposite the masterful Patricia Clarkson, her abusive onscreen mother. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Is Sharp Objects, the HBO Series Starring Amy Adams, Getting a Season 2? Well, Maybe.," 12 Mar. 2019 Prior to starring in Christmas Joy opposite Matt Long, Panabaker appeared in Recipe for Love (2014), Nearlyweds (2013), and The Shunning (2011). Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Who Is Danielle Panabaker? Meet the Star of Hallmark's New Movie 'Christmas Joy'," 3 Nov. 2018 Redshirt freshman Kyler Gordon claimed the spot opposite him Wednesday, but Dominique Hampton took his turn with the starters Friday. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Observations from the UW Huskies’ sixth practice of spring football," 12 Apr. 2019

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1667, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opposite

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin oppositus, from past participle of oppōnere "to place (over or against), place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" — more at oppose

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin oppositus, noun derivative from past participle of oppōnere "to place (over or against), place as an obstacle, set in opposition to, argue in reply" — more at oppose

Adverb

derivative of opposite entry 1

Preposition

derivative of opposite entry 1

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Statistics for opposite

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opposite

The first known use of opposite was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for opposite

opposite

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of opposite

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: located at the other end, side, or corner of something : located across from something
: completely different

opposite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of opposite (Entry 2 of 4)

: someone or something that is completely different from someone or something else
: a word with a meaning that is completely different from the meaning of another word

opposite

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of opposite (Entry 3 of 4)

: on the other side of someone or something : across from someone or something

opposite

preposition

English Language Learners Definition of opposite (Entry 4 of 4)

: on the other side of (something or someone) : across from (something or someone)
of an actor : in a play, movie, etc., with (another actor)

opposite

adjective
op·​po·​site | \ ˈä-pə-zət How to pronounce opposite (audio) \

Kids Definition of opposite

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : being at the other end, side, or corner We live on opposite sides of the street.
2 : being as different as possible They ran in opposite directions.
3 : being in a position to contrast with or cancel out Consider the opposite side of the question.

opposite

noun

Kids Definition of opposite (Entry 2 of 4)

: either of two persons or things that are as different as possible “Martin is some sort of angel; I'm the opposite.”— Brian Jacques, Redwall

opposite

adverb

Kids Definition of opposite (Entry 3 of 4)

: on the other side of someone or something : across from He lives in the house opposite to mine.

opposite

preposition

Kids Definition of opposite (Entry 4 of 4)

: across from (someone or something) The park is opposite our house.

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More from Merriam-Webster on opposite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opposite

Spanish Central: Translation of opposite

Nglish: Translation of opposite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opposite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on opposite

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