An antonym is a word that is the opposite meaning of another. It comes from the Greek words “anti” for opposite and “onym” for name. Since language is complex, people may at times, disagree on what words are truly opposite in meaning to other words.
Sometimes you need to take two steps to enlarge your findings when doing antonym research:
Step 1: Search for the antonyms for a word.
Here is an example of antonyms for the word "good" from Rhyme Zone.com:
Step 2: Search for synonyms of the antonyms identifed in step one.
If you take the first antonym listed, “bad,” and search for synonyms, you would be shown 73 synonyms for “bad.” That would give you a lot of antonyms to choose from when looking for that perfect antonym for good, including words such as: awful, dreadful, hard, hopeless, inferior, lousy, painful, rotten, severe, stale, terrible, and tough.
There are three categories of antonyms:
The chart below shows examples of all three categories of antonyms.
Sometimes, an antonym can be easily made by adding a prefix.
Examples of antonyms that were made by adding the prefix “un” are:
By adding the prefix “non” you can make these pairs:
Lastly, adding the prefix “in” can make the following pairs:
If you want to find the perfect antonym, a thesaurus or antonym dictionary can be very helpful. These reference sources will give definitions and parts of speech, has lists of anonyms, synonyms, and sometimes will even show similar sounding words, homophones, rhymes, and will show examples from literature.