A synonym is a word, adjective, verb or expression that has the same meaning as another, or almost the same meaning. Synonyms are other words that mean the same thing. This avoids repetitions in a sentence without changing its meaning.
An antonym is a word, adjective, verb or expression whose meaning is opposite to that of a word. Antonyms are used to express the opposite of a word.
Use of synonyms and antonyms
Synonyms and antonyms are intended to:
Examples of synonyms
The words acknowledge, enjoy, welcome are synonyms for «appreciate».
Examples of antonyms
In your daily life, for writing an email, a text, an essay, if you want to avoid repetitions or find the opposite meaning of a word. This site allows you to find in one place, all the synonyms and antonyms of the English language. Synonyms-thesaurus.com is more than 70,800 synonyms and 47,200 antonyms available. Here you use the antonyms for root. These antonyms of the word root are provided for information only.
General terms and conditions of use
Antonyms are words belonging to the same part of speech, identical in style, expressing contrary of contradictory notions.
absolute or root antonyms (late — early)
derivational antonyms (to please — to displease, honest — dishonest, professional — nonprofessional)
different roots same roots but different affixes
1. Negative prefixes (un-; dis-; non-) form antonyms: Un-: untrue Dis-: dislike Non-: nonreactive
2. Sometimes they are formed by means of antonymous suffixes -ful and -less -ful: painful -less: painless
The antonym of the adjective with the suffix -ful is formed by means of the prefix un-: successful – unsuccessful
The antonym of the adjective with the suffix -less is formed with the help of the suffix –ish: selfless — selfish
The same is true about antonyms with negative prefixes e.g. to man is not an antonym of the word to unman; to disappoint is not an antonym of the word to appoint.
The difference between derivational and root antonyms is not only in their structure, but in semantics as well.
Leonard Lipka in the book Outline of English Lexicology describes different types of oppositeness, and subdivides them into three types: complementarity, e.g. male — female, married – single; antonyms, e.g. good – bad converseness, e.g. to buy — to sell.
It’s distinguished from complementarity by being based on different logical relationships. The assertion containing one member implies the negation of the other, but not vice versa. John is good = John is not bad John is not good ≠ John is bad The negation of one term doesn’t necessarily implies the assertion of the other.
An important linguistic difference from complementaries is that antonyms are always fully gradable, e.g. hot, warm, tepid, cold.
L.Lipka also points out non-binary contrast or many-member lexical sets. Here he points out serially ordered sets, such as scales (hot, warm, tepid, cold, cool); colour words (black, grey, white); military ranks (marshal, general, colonel, major, captain etc.) gradable examination marks (excellent, good ,average, fair, poor) In such sets of words we can have outer and inner pairs of antonyms. He also points out cycles, such as units of tie: ( spring, summer, autumn, winter) In this case there are no outermost members.
Not every word in language can have antonyms. This type of opposition can be met in qualitative adjective and their derivatives e.g. beautiful — ugly, to beautify — to uglify, beauty – ugliness It can be also met in words denoting feelings and states e.g. respect — scorn, to live — to die, to respect- to scorn, alive — dead, respectful – scornful life — death Itcan be also met among words denoting direction in space and time e.g. here — there, up — down, now — never, before — after day — night, early — late etc.
If a word is polysemantic, it can have several antonyms e.g. the word bright has the antonyms: dim, dull, sad.
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2. Paronymy. Antonymy
2. 1. Paronyms
Paronymy is an intermediate phenomenon between homonymy (identical sound-form) and synonymy (similar meaning).
Paronyms are words which are partially similar in form but different in meaning and usage: proscribe-prescribe. The coinciding parts are not morphemes but meaningless sound-clusters. Pairs like historic-historical (words containing the same root-morpheme) are usually treated as synonyms. Yet words of both groups are easily confused in speech even by native speakers: sensible- sensitive, prudent-prudish.
Improper usage of learned and sonorous language results in the so-called malapropisms. to have a supercilious (superficial) knowledge in accounts. This kind of word confusion is due to ignorance and produces a humorous effect. Malapropisms may be viewed as a kind of paronyms. The words are attracted to each other because of their partial phonetic similarity.
2. 2 Antonyms
Antonyms are words belonging to the same part of speech, identical in style, expressing contrary or contradictory notions.
V. N. Komissarov classified antonyms into two groups: absolute (root) antonyms (late — early) and derivational antonyms (to please – to displease, honest
Absolute antonyms have different roots and derivational antonyms have the same roots but different affixes. In most cases negative prefixes form antonyms (un-, dis- non-). Sometimes they are formed by means of antonymous suffixes: -ful and –less (painful — painless).
The number of antonyms with the suffixes ful- and -less is not very large, and sometimes even if we have a word with one of these suffixes its antonym is formed not by substituting -ful by less-, e. g. «successful» — unsuccessful», «selfless» — «selfish». The same is true about antonyms with negative prefixes, e. g. «to man» is not an antonym of the word «to unman», «to disappoint» is not an antonym of the word «to appoint».
The difference between derivational and root antonyms is also in their semantics. Derivational antonyms express contradictory notions, one of them excludes the other: active-inactive. Absolute antonyms express contrary notions. If
some notions can be arranged in a group of more than two members, the most distant members of the group will be absolute antonyms: ugly, plain, good-looking, pretty, beautiful, the antonyms are ugly and beautiful.
Leonard Lipka in the book «Outline of English Lexicology» describes different types of oppositeness, and subdivides them into three types:
a) complementary, e. g. male -female, married -single,
b) antonyms, e. g. good -bad,
c) converseness, e. g. to buy — to sell.
Antonymy is the second class of oppositeness. It is distinguished from complementarity by being based on different logical relationships. For pairs of antonyms like good/bad, big/small only the second one of the above mentioned relations of implication holds. The assertion containing one member implies the negation of the other, but not vice versa. «John is good» implies that «John is not bad», but «John is not good» does not imply that «John is bad». The negation of one term does not necessarily implies the assertion of the other.
An important linguistic difference from complementaries is that antonyms are always fully gradable, e. g. hot, warm, tepid, cold.
«John bought the car from Bill» implies that «Bill sold the car to John». Mirror-image sentences are in many ways similar to the relations between active and passive sentences. Also in the comparative form: »Y is smaller than X, then X is larger than Y».
Not every word in a language can have antonyms. This type of opposition can be met in qualitative adjectives and their derivatives, e. g. beautiful- ugly, to beautify — to uglify, beauty — ugliness. It can be also met in words denoting feelings and states, e. g. respect — scorn, to respect — to scorn, respectful — scornful, to live — to die, alive — dead, life — death. It can be also met among words denoting direction in space and time, e. g. here — there, up — down, now — never, before — after, day — night, early — late etc.
If a word is polysemantic it can have several antonyms, e. g. the word «bright» has the antonyms «dim», «dull», «sad».
Literature to be studied:
• » English Word» by Arnold p. 177-197.
• » A course in Modern English Lexicology» by Ginsburg.
• » English Lexicology» by Antrushina.