Opposite Words in English, Definition and Example Sentences

Opposite Words in English, Definition and Example Sentences


Opposites (antonyms) are words that contain contradictory characteristics, that is, words that are opposed to one another in terms of meaning. Everyone should be taught how to appropriately use words that have antonyms. It is vital in tests as well as in everyday life, in terms of utilizing the language appropriately and successfully expressing oneself in a variety of situations.

Antonyms are only words that have meanings that are opposed to each other; for example, the negative connotation of a word with a positive meaning cannot be considered an antonym. For example, the phrase “not descending,” which is the negative meaning of the word descend, cannot be considered an antonym. The opposite of the descend is the word ascend. Along with that not every word has an opposite.

If you wish to express yourself with more delicacy or precision in your language choices, you’ll need antonyms. The following are some of the reasons why comprehending this principle is critical.

To Expand Your Vocabulary

Antonyms will help expand a person’s vocabulary. It is possible to get a more acute grasp of a word by comprehending its opposite – or precisely what the phrase does not represent – rather than by understanding the word itself.

To Make Reading a More Pleasurable Experience

As your knowledge of a language develops, so does your ability to comprehend what you are reading. When writing, authors make use of the contrast of polar opposites and the subtlety of slightly different phrases to make their work more clear. Poets, in particular, appear to spend a lot of time searching for the precise correct phrase to use in their poems in order to convey exactly what they want to express.

To Bring Your Writing to Life

It is possible to utilize the same tactics to captivate your own readers when you are the author. Using antonyms saves you the time and effort of having to explain the precise term over and over again, and it also makes your work more interesting. When you’re writing, have a thesaurus on hand for quick reference. If you get stuck on a term, you will have a tool at your disposal to assist you in finding an appropriate substitute. Here are some examples of opposites:

Darkness – Lightness

You may lose your way in the darkness.

I like the lightness of this house.

Smart – Stupid

She must be really smart if she passed this exam.

I feel stupid when I fail an exam.

Minimum – maximum

The minimum number of items in your basket should be 2.

This bus can carry a maximum of 20 passengers.

Shy – Self-assured

I feel shy whenever I am in a new environment.

Sally is a very self-assured girl; she can take the microphone and start singing in front of everyone.

Front – Back

If you can’t see the screen we can move to the front.

Tall students should be sitting in the back.

Seller – Purchaser

The seller of this house is a 70-year-old woman, while the purchaser is a young one.

Most Common Opposite Words

  • stop-go
  • forget-remember
  • former-latter
  • forward-backward
  • frequent-infrequent
  • sharp-dull
  • she-he
  • shout-whisper
  • shrink-expand
  • sick-well
  • simple-complicated
  • sink-float
  • sit-stand
  • slavery-freedom
  • slow-fast
  • small-large
  • smart-dumb
  • smile-frown
  • soft-hard
  • solid-liquid
  • literal-figurative
  • little-big
  • lock-unlock
  • long-short
  • loose-tight
  • lose-find
  • lost-found
  • loud-soft
  • love-hate
  • straight-crooked
  • in-out
  • inside-outside
  • joy-grief
  • kind-mean
  • king-queen
  • knowledge-ignorance
  • known-unknown
  • large-small
  • last-first
  • laugh-cry
  • lazy-industrious
  • admit-deny
  • advance-retreat
  • stranger-friend
  • strengthen-weaken
  • strong-weak
  • summer-winter
  • sun-moon
  • sweet-sour
  • beneath-above
  • best-worst
  • bitter-sweet
  • black-white
  • borrow-lend
  • bottom-top
  • boy-girl
  • brave-scared
  • against-for
  • ahead-behind
  • all-none
  • always-never
  • antique-modern
  • asleep-awake
  • attack-defend
  • aunt-uncle
  • authentic-imitation
  • awake- asleep
  • bad-good
  • bald-hairy
  • beautiful-ugly
  • brother-sister
  • buy-sell
  • drunk-sober
  • dry-wet
  • hungry-full