noun an·tith·e·sis \an-ˈti-thə-səs\

: the exact opposite of something or someone

: the state of two things that are directly opposite to each other

plural an·tith·e·ses \-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of ANTITHESIS

a (1) :  the rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentences (as in action, not words or they promised freedom and provided slavery) (2) :  opposition, contrast <the antithesis of prose and verse>
b (1) :  the second of two opposing words, clauses, or sentences that are being rhetorically contrasted
(2) :  the direct opposite <her temperament is the very antithesis of mine>
:  the second stage of a dialectic process

Examples of ANTITHESIS

  1. In urban areas, middle schools often became the antithesis of what reformers had intended. Instead of warm incubators of independence and judgment, they became impersonal, oppressive institutions. —Claudia Wallis, Time, 8 Aug. 2005


Late Latin, from Greek, literally, opposition, from antitithenai to oppose, from anti- + tithenai to set — more at do
First Known Use: 1529

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
ANTITHESIS Defined for Kids


noun an·tith·e·sis \an-ˈti-thə-səs\
plural an·tith·e·ses \-ə-ˌsēz\

Definition of ANTITHESIS for Kids

:  the exact opposite <Poverty is the antithesis of wealth.>


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