Verbal Ability - Antonyms

Antonyms Description

A word having opposite meaning of another is termed as an Antonym. In simple words, one may say it as opposites and thus are said to be Antonymous and the state being referred to as Antonymy.
An Antonym is a combination of two Greek words i.e. Anti + onym. While “Anti” stands for opposite, “onym” stands for name.
Antonyms prove very useful, especially for the students, in learning the logical opposites of significant words, which in turn enhances the overall command of their English language.


There are three types of antonyms :-
  • Graded Antonyms (for e.g :- Very big – very small)
  • Complementary Antonyms (for e.g :- dead - alive)
  • Relational Antonyms (for e.g :- buy – sell)

Some antonyms can be formed by adding prefixes such as “non-, un-, dis, in, im”, For e.g.
  • Polite – Impolite
  • Satisfied – Dissatisfied
  • Complete – Incomplete
  • Fortunate – Unfortunate
Some antonyms can be formed by adding suffixes, such as “less”. For e.g
  • Hope – Hopeless
  • Meaning – Meaningless
Apart from these, there are some other words also which have no antonym at all, such as plant/ animal species.

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