Login

What are Antonyms? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is a Verb Phrase? - Definition, Structure & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:28 Importance
  • 1:15 Using Antonyms in Writing
  • 1:50 Improving Vocabulary
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Debbie Notari
In this lesson, we will take a look at antonyms. Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings to other words in a sentence. Using antonyms can help us improve our writing and vocabulary skills.

Definition of Antonyms

An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. For instance, the antonym of 'hot' may be 'cold.' The root words for the word 'antonym' are the words 'anti,' meaning 'against' or 'opposite,' and 'onym,' meaning 'name.'

In order to better understand antonyms, let's take a look at what the word 'synonym' means. A synonym is a word that has a similar meaning to or exactly the same meaning as another word. Synonyms and antonyms are exactly the opposite.

Why Are Antonyms Important?

Oddly enough, to better understand the meaning of a word, we can take a look at its antonym, or opposite meaning. For instance, take the word 'morose.' The definition of 'morose' is 'gloomily or sullenly ill-humored.' Sometimes, even reading a dictionary definition is not enough to give us a complete understanding of a word. Most dictionaries provide synonyms and antonyms, as well.

For instance, here are a few listed synonyms for the word 'morose:' 'moody,' 'sour,' 'sulky.' Also, here are a few antonyms: 'cheerful' and 'optimistic.' Now we know that the opposite of 'morose' is cheerful and even optimistic! Taking a look at both the synonyms and antonyms really provides us with a clearer definition.

Using Antonyms in Writing

Sometimes, we get stuck when trying to choose the best word in a sentence, or we tend to use the same words too often. For instance, we might be looking for a word that means the opposite of 'courageous,' but we want to choose a different word than 'scared.' Let's take on the antonym challenge and see if we can find a better word!

When we look up the word 'courageous' and scroll down to the list of antonyms, we see words like: 'chickenhearted,' 'cowardly,' and 'gutless.' These words are more vivid than the word 'scared,' and by using more vivid words in our writing, we improve our writing.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support