Examples of Antonyms, Synonyms and Homonyms

Think about the word fair. Its synonym would be equal because fair and equal have the same meaning. The antonym for fair would be unfair — the opposite meaning. And its homonym is fair, which is spelled and pronounced the same but means beautiful instead. How do synonyms, antonyms and homonyms affect your writing, and how can you use them to improve your word choice?

Table of Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms examples Table of Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms examples
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Antonym Examples

Antonyms demonstrate contrasting ideas or objects and can provide clues about what a writer means. Common examples of antonyms include:

achieve - fail

giant - dwarf

random - specific

afraid - confident

gloomy - cheerful

rigid - flexible

ancient - modern

individual - group

shame - honor

arrive - depart

innocent - guilty

simple - complicated

arrogant - humble

knowledge - ignorance

single - married

attack - defend

liquid - solid

sunny - cloudy

blunt - sharp

marvelous - terrible

timid - bold

brave - cowardly

noisy - quiet

toward - away

cautious - careless

partial - complete

tragic - comic

complex - simple

passive - active

transparent - opaque

crazy - sane

permanent - unstable

triumph - defeat

crooked - straight

plentiful - sparse

union - separation

demand - supply

positive - negative

unique - common

destroy - create

powerful - weak

upset - relaxed

divide - unite

praise - criticism

urge - deter

drunk - sober

private - public

vacant - occupied

expand - contract

problem - solution

vague - definite

freeze - boil

professional - amateur

villain - hero

full - empty

profit - loss

wax - wane

generous - stingy

quality - inferiority

wealth - poverty

Synonym Examples

Synonyms provide variety in a writer's speech or writing. The endless array of synonyms in the English language makes it possible to avoid repetition. Examples of synonyms include:

amazing: astounding, surprising, stunning

fertile, fruitful, abundant, productive

polite: courteous, cordial, gracious

annihilation: destruction, carnage, extinction

gargantuan: colossal, mammoth, tremendous

portion: piece, part, segment

benefit: profit, revenue, yield

hungry: empty, ravenous, starved

risky: dangerous, perilous, treacherous

brave: courageous, valiant, heroic

injured: damaged, wounded, harmed

sleepy: drowsy, listless, sluggish

cohesive: united, connected, close-knit

intelligent: brilliant, clever, smart

senseless: absurd, illogical, unreasonable

cunning: keen, sharp, slick

kindle: ignite, inflame, burn

tumultuous: hectic, raucous, turbulent

destitute: poor, bankrupt, impoverished

loyal: faithful, ardent, devoted

vacant: empty, deserted, uninhabited

deterioration: pollution, defilement, adulteration

old: elderly, aged, senior

veracity: authenticity, credibility, truthfulness

enormous: huge, gigantic, massive

organization: association, institution, management

wet: damp, moist, soggy

feisty: excitable, fiery, lively

partner: associate, colleague, companion

young: budding, fledgling, tenderfoot

Homonym Examples

Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings. Common homonym examples include:

  • atmosphere - the gases surrounding Earth / the mood of a situation
  • bail - to clear out water / to release a prisoner
  • band - a ring, sometimes symbolizing eternity / a musical group
  • beat - to overcome something / to feel exhausted
  • capital - the chief city of a state / a crime punishable by death
  • cleave - to split or sever / to adhere to
  • dive - to go down quickly / an unpleasant place
  • employ - to put into use / to hire someone for a job
  • file - to store computer data / to make a formal request
  • fine - being of high quality / sum of money used as a penalty
  • grave - something very serious / a place to bury the dead
  • hide - to keep something secret / the skin of an animal
  • iron - to press or smooth / silvery-gray metal
  • jade - a hard, green stone / a hardened or bad-tempered woman
  • lark - a small bird / something done for fun
  • objective - not being influenced by prejudice / the lens of a microscope or camera
  • plaque - an ornamental plate or slab that commemorates a person or event / a deposit on teeth prone to bacteria
  • refrain - to stop oneself from doing something / a repeated line in music or poetry
  • reticule - at a distance or disconnected / an unlikely possibility
  • tender - sensitive or painful to the touch / legal money
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Printable Guide to Antonyms, Synonyms and Homonyms

Don't forget to download a handy PDF that shows the difference between antonyms, synonyms and homonyms. It also includes examples of homophones (words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings) for easy reference.

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Forming Vocabulary Relationships

The more you study synonyms, antonyms and homonyms, the more you'll feel inspired to use them in your everyday writing. If you're interested in expanding your vocabulary even more, check out: