opposite

1 of 4

adjective

op·​po·​site ˈä-pə-zət How to pronounce opposite (audio)
ˈäp-sət
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
oppositely adverb
oppositeness noun

opposite

2 of 4

noun

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

opposite

3 of 4

adverb

: on or to an opposite side

opposite

4 of 4

preposition

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
Choose the Right Synonym for opposite

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. 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
This requirement has refiners replacing cheaper but more evaporative components in gas with those that have the opposite characteristics, the federal agency said. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2024 The 55-year-old also starred opposite Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law. Kate Hogan, Peoplemag, 9 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for opposite 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'opposite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near opposite

Cite this Entry

“Opposite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opposite. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

opposite

1 of 4 adjective
op·​po·​site ˈäp-ə-zət How to pronounce opposite (audio)
ˈäp-sət
1
a
: being at the other end, side, or corner
lived on opposite sides of the street
the opposite sides of a rectangle
b
: being one of two angles of a four-sided figure (as a square or parallelogram) that are not next to each other
2
a
: being in a position to oppose or cancel out
opposite sides of the question
b
: as different as possible : contrary
reached opposite conclusions
went off in opposite directions
3
: being the other of a matching or contrasting pair
the opposite sex
oppositely adverb
oppositeness noun

opposite

2 of 4 noun
1
: someone or something that is opposite
2
3
: additive inverse
especially : the additive inverse of a real number
+3 and −3 are opposites

opposite

3 of 4 adverb
: on or to the opposite side

opposite

4 of 4 preposition
: across from and usually facing or on the same level with
the house opposite ours

More from Merriam-Webster on opposite

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