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

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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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
But a knowledgeable source says the opposite is true and the comedy is now poised for a theatrical release. Tatiana Siegel, Rolling Stone, 3 Aug. 2022 In his official announcement, Stenson argued the opposite was true. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, 1 Aug. 2022 But for the inexperienced seller, the opposite was true: The listings that showed more doubt about the item’s authenticity got 65% higher sales prices. Andrew Blackman, WSJ, 28 July 2022 The opposite is true, when prices fall exchanges get long and repay and deposit and APYs fall. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 18 July 2022 Of course, the opposite is true for European travelers heading to the states. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 But, in their research, the team discovered that the opposite was true: The multi-modal systems were likely to fail in the face of adversarial attacks than simpler A.I. systems trained on just images or text. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 21 June 2022 The available data suggest that the opposite is true, at least for now. Benjamin Mazer, The Atlantic, 15 June 2022 The opposite is true when the relative humidity decreases because the rate of perspiration increases. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 13 June 2022
Noun
Or put it this way: Whatever the United States does, Norway does the opposite. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 July 2022 The Supreme Court could have made a tremendously positive impact on human health, but in this case, the majority did the opposite. Matthew Meyer, Scientific American, 1 July 2022 Most people go lighter in the warmer months, but if anyone could persuade you to do the opposite, it’s Theron, whose shoulder-grazing, choppy cut was transformed thanks to the new deep chocolate shade. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 13 June 2022 And Trump picked the one candidate in JD vans that did the exact opposite of that. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 27 Apr. 2022 But the leaders’ styling instincts achieved the opposite. Jamie Waters, WSJ, 30 July 2022 It's been pretty much the opposite on the GOP side, a dynamic fueled in part by former President Donald Trump's endorsements and attacks. Rick Klein, ABC News, 28 July 2022 When asked about Oates' comments, Watters pointed to an audit completed by Penguin Random House, which shows the opposite. Leah Asmelash, CNN, 28 July 2022 So in the meantime, Schut adapted his screenplay into a series of graphic novels for Mythos Comics—the opposite of the usual process these days, with studios competing for recognizable IP to adapt into blockbuster films. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 July 2022
Adverb
Or when interactions with men ascend into various forms of violation: the quiet kind (an unwanted hand on her knee; the corrosive skepticism of a man who doesn’t believe she’s being stalked) or its very loud opposite (a fist). K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2022 Beyond, the mountains loom dark and mysterious while opposite, the valley winks with lights from little hamlets. Rebecca Ann Hughes, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Immediately outside the home, a redwood deck ties together the dining area—which has furniture custom-made by Blue Pocket Studio—with an outdoor living room sitting opposite. Deanna Kizis, Sunset Magazine, 8 July 2022 The show stars Jackson opposite fellow MCU alumni such as Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, Martin Freeman and Don Cheadle. Zack Sharf, Variety, 15 June 2022 The Brooklyn Nine-Nine alum has signed on as a lead opposite Anthony Mackie in Peacock’s Twisted Metal. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2022 The defensive end who started opposite Garrett last season, Jadeveon Clowney, remains unsigned in free agency. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 4 May 2022 On April 20, Depp picked up a new Instagram follower (joining a group 14.4 million strong) in Jason Momoa… who stars opposite Heard in the Aquaman franchise. Tatiana Siegel, Rolling Stone, 3 May 2022 Whether Wright is the immediate answer to the question of who will play opposite Garrett this season or someone who will need to grow into the role is a question for later. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 30 Apr. 2022
Preposition
Veteran receiver Brandin Cooks had already developed a relationship with Metchie since the draft, with the rookie expected to compete for playing time at the receiver spot opposite Cooks. Kristie Rieken, ajc, 29 July 2022 The two starred opposite one another in the 2022 short film Wake (which was written and directed by Chase), and have been seen out and about together in New York City, looking cute and cozy. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 19 July 2022 Mackie previously starred opposite Evans’ Captain America as Falcon in other MCU films. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 10 July 2022 McCormack spoke via Zoom about his starring role and working opposite a legendary actress from—where else—a hotel room. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 16 June 2022 The Bengals hoped to have Awuzie and veteran Trae Waynes starting opposite one another in Week 1 after singing Waynes to a three-year deal in 2020. Kelsey Conway, The Enquirer, 12 Mar. 2022 This Christmas marks 10 years since Wenger and McTwigan sat opposite one another on the train. Francesca Street, CNN, 24 Dec. 2021 For me, also, working opposite Keanu is really effortless and has a depth to it. New York Times, 22 Dec. 2021 It’s like Adam Driver working opposite that scary puppet in Annette. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 See More

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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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 19 Aug. 2022.

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Kids Definition

opposite

1 of 4 adjective
op·​po·​site ˈä-pə-zət How to pronounce opposite (audio)
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

2 of 4 noun
: 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

3 of 4 adverb
: on the other side of someone or something : across from
He lives in the house opposite to mine.

opposite

4 of 4 preposition
: across from (someone or something)
The park is opposite our house.

More from Merriam-Webster on opposite

Last Updated: 12 Aug 2022

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