Antonyms are the words that possess opposite meanings of a particular word. In brief, antonyms always carry the opposite meaning of a selected word. 

For instance, ‘Honorable’ means distinguished, honest, ethical, etc. The opposite word of ‘Honorable’ is deceptive, dishonest, unethical, etc. These opposite words are antonyms of ‘Honorable’. Students must learn antonyms as it assists them in improving writing as well as vocabulary skills. 

The root of the word ‘antonym’ is ‘anti’ and ‘onym’. Here, ‘anti’ means opposite or against and ‘onym’ refers name. 

On the other hand, synonyms are the words that a carry similar meaning or same meaning. While learning a word, students must know antonyms as well as synonyms of a word to use it in the sentences accurately. However, antonym and synonym are completely opposite. 

The importance of Antonyms:

To understand a word in a better manner, students must know its antonyms. Take the word ‘Crabby’, it is an adjective and it means awkward, irritable, captious, chuffy, bad-tempered, etc. The antonym of the word is amiable, good-humored, happy, etc. After knowing the antonyms, the word ‘Crabby’ becomes clearer. Sometimes, a dictionary definition is not enough to understand the meaning of a word. In that case, antonyms help us to understand the meaning clearly. In the dictionary, we get both the antonym and synonyms of each word. 

On the other hand, knowing antonyms, helps students to use each word suitably in the sentences. It allows students to understand each word thoroughly. In brief, understanding antonyms assists students to have a good command over the words. 

Categories of Antonyms:

The three categories of antonyms are mentioned below with examples.

Graded Antonyms: This type of antonym is concerned with the levels of the meaning of each word. There is a scale that is involved with some words and it refers the average meaning in the place of good or bad.  The distinctive feature of the graded antonym is that it depends on the continuous spectrum. In this type of antonym, it is not needed that two words should have the same weight.  These words are known as gradable antonyms as these words carry the more-less association in the place of an either-or association.For instance, the antonym of the word ‘Fat’ is ‘Skinny’. This comes under the graded antonym category.

More examples of graded antonyms:

These antonyms are pairs of words and contain two words, which are totally opposite in the spectrum.

  • Evil-Good
  • Dark-Light
  • Young-Old
  • Empty-Full
  • Hard –Soft
  • Nervous- Calm
  • Quick- Slow
  • Warm-Cool
  • Last-First
  • Happy-Sad

Complementary Antonyms: Without a middle ground, this type of antonym has a relationship. These antonyms are the pairs of words that exhibit two possibilities, which are opposite in nature. In brief, this antonym represents an either or situation. 

  • Push –Pull
  • Man- Woman
  • Right-Wrong
  • Day-Night
  • True- False
  • Employ-Dismiss
  • Against- For
  • Forget- Remember
  • Input-Output
  • Pass-Fail

Relational Antonyms: Sometime, this antonym is referred as the sub-category of the complementary antonym. This antonym describes a relationship between two opposite terms and both should be present as without one the other cannot exist.

  • Buy-Sell
  • Doctor-Patient
  • Husband-Wife
  • Teach-Learn
  • Employer-Employee
  • Customer-Supplier
  • Servant-Master
  • Above-Below
  • Come-Go
  • Give-Learn

Antonym Definition

Antonym Definition: Antonym is a word that refers opposite meaning to another word. In detail, antonym word carries just an opposite meaning of a word. A word that carries the exact opposite meaning of the other word is its antonym. Antonyms are quite obvious. 

  1. Good –Bad
  2. Black-White
  3. Display-Hiding
  4. Daily-Irregular

Antonyms Examples

Sometimes, antonym can be made by including a prefix such as ‘un’, ‘non’, ‘in’, etc.
Examples of antonym by adding the prefix ‘un’:
  • Able-Unable
  • Forgiving-Unforgiving
  • Likely-Unlikely
  • Fortunate-Unfortunate
  • Truth-Untruth
  • Available-Unavailable
  • Handy-Unhandy
  • Limited-Unlimited

Examples of antonym by adding the prefix ‘non’:
  • Entity-Nonentity
  • Payment-Nonpayment
  • Conformist-Nonconformist
  • Combatant-Noncombatant
  • Absorbable-Nonabsorbable
  • Attached-Nonattached

Examples of antonym by adding the prefix ‘in’:
  • Decent-Indecent
  • Excusable-Inexcusable
  • Tolerant-Intolerant
  • Discreet-Indiscreet
  • Attentive-Inattentive
  • Observant-Inobservant
  • Delicate-Indelicate
  • Offensive-Inoffensive
  • Appropriate-Inappropriate
  • Correct-Incorrect
  • Valid-Invalid
  • Accurate-Inaccurate

Check more antonyms list:

  • Argue – Agree
  • Arrive – Depart
  • Birth – Death
  • Bright – Dull
  • Cautious – Careless
  • Crooked – Straight
  • Decrease – Increase
  • Easy – Difficult
  • Drunk – Sober
  • Generous – Stingy
  • Grief – Joy
  • Heaven – Hell
  • Giant - Dwarf
  • Include - Exclude
  • Inside – Outside
  • Individual – Group
  • Idle – Active
  • Knowledge – Ignorance
  • Huge – Tiny
  • Hire - Fire
  • Loose – Tight
  • Major – Minor
  • Marvelous – Terrible
  • Never – Always
  • Noisey – Quiet
  • Often – Seldom
  • Move – Stay
  • Praise – Criticism
  • Random – Specific
  • Rigid – Flexible