Tuesday, April 17, 2007


A synonym is a word that means the same as another. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another. A contronym is a word that, by some freak of language evolution, are their own antonyms.

Here are a few examples of contronyms:

    • bolt - secure, run away
    • cleave - separate, adhere
    • custom - usual, special
    • fix - restore, castrate
    • grade - incline, level
    • left - remaining, departed from
    • fast - quick, unmoving
    • screen - show, hide
    • weather - withstand, wear away
    • wind up - end, start up (e.g., a watch)

Fun With Words has more examples of contronyms.


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