Understanding Meaning, Characteristics, and Examples of Antonyms


Understanding Meaning, Characteristics, and Examples of Antonyms

Examples of Antonyms
Written by Ananda

Examples of Antonyms – Antonyms are words that are opposites. This antonym is divided into twin oppositions, plural, gradual, relational, hierarchical, and inversion. Antonym is also a relationship of meaning or semantics of a word or language. According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), an antonym is a word whose meaning is the opposite of another word.

Quoting from the book ” Diction and Style of Language ” by Gorys Keraf, the term antonymy is then used to express “opposite meaning”, while the opposite word is also known as an antonym. Antonymy is a relation between meanings whose logical form is very different or contradictory, such as hate – love; chills; east and west; husband and wife, and so on.

To find out more about antonyms, then you can see this article till the end, Grameds.

Meaning of Antonym

Antonyms are also known as counterterms, the word “antonym” which comes from a combination of two Greek terms “anti,” which means “opposite,” and “-onym,” which comes from “onoma,” which also means “name.” Edward Finnegan himself defines antonyms as a “binary relationship between terms with meanings that then exist and complement each other.”

Antonym or antonymy is a semantic relationship between two units of speech whose meaning then expresses the opposite, contradiction, or contrast between one and another.

For example, the word bad is an antonym with the word good, the word dead is an antonym with the word life, the word teacher is an antonym with the word student and the word buy is an antonym with the word sell.

Characteristics of Antonyms

After discussing the meaning of antonyms, to find out more about antonyms, we need to know the characteristics of the antonyms themselves. Do you already know the characteristics of antonyms? Here are some characteristics of antonyms that you need to know.

1. Characteristics of Multiple Opposition Antonyms

A compound opposition is an opposition that includes a set consisting of two words. The main characteristics of a class or compound opposition antonym include:

  1. Affirmation of one member which will then include denial of all other members.
  2. Examples with words that are then made interrelated, for example in the color of clothes. If you say the shirt is yellow, then the shirt is not red, the shirt is not blue, the shirt is not white, and so on.
    Another example of compound opposition antonyms is the sentence “Agus doesn’t like meatballs”. So, in this sentence it means that Agus likes fried noodles, Agus likes martabak, and so on.

2. Characteristics of Twin Opposition Antonyms

Twin opposition is a type of antonymical property that includes two members. Examples of antonyms:

Female-male, male-female, Alive-dead.

3. Characteristics of Gradual Antonym Opposition Antonyms

Gradual is an oppositional opposition between two words which then involves levels. The characteristics of gradual antonyms include denial of a word. Examples of this type of antonym include if you say not small, then it doesn’t mean big, meaning it could be rather big or medium.

4. Characteristics of Inversion Opposition Antonyms

The inverse opposition is the antonym which is then found in the word pair. Example: must-may, some – all, maybe – mandatory and so on. Example sentences: My brother is required not to be a smoker = Brother is not allowed to be a smoker.

5. Characteristics of Hierarchical Opposition Antonyms

Hierarchical antonyms are antonymic properties whose meanings between words have contradictions but are in a stratified position. Hierarchical antonyms also have special criteria, namely the level that differentiates the properties of compound antonyms. For example: millimeter-centimeter, January-February-March, and so on.

6. Characteristics of Relational Opposition Antonyms

Relational antonyms are a contradiction between two words whose presence is then related to each other. Relations to the nature of this opposition include among others in the words that express the opposite direction. For example: North-South, East or West, down or up, left or right, and so on.

Sifat Antonim

Examples of Antonyms


After knowing the characteristics of antonyms, the next discussion is the properties of antonyms. Here are some properties of antonyms that you need to know.

1. Binary Meaning Antonyms

Binary antonym type is a type of antonym that attaches meaning to a word. Binary is also a statement about who or what. Examples on:

  • Man or woman
  • Teacher or student
  • Seller or buyer
  • Doctor or patient

2. Antonyms are Non Binary

Non-binary antonyms are the opposite of binary antonyms. This non-binary antonym word opposition can go against the meaning of various words. Examples on:

  • West or South
  • Father or uncle
  • Broad or narrow
  • Old or young
  • Dark or Light
  • Life or death
  • Rich or Poor
  • Small or Big
  • Far or Near
  • High or Low
  • Expensive or Cheap
  • Bad or Good
  • Haram or Halal
  • Cause or Effect
  • Fear or Brave
  • Happy or Sad
  • Sharp or Blunt
  • Before or after
  • Add or Less
  • Sooner or later
  • Real or fake
  • Expensive or Cheap
  • New or Old
  • Profit, profit or loss
  • Thick or Thin
  • Liquid or Frozen
  • Enough or Kuran
  • More Pros or Cons
  • Easy or Hard

3. Antonyms are taxonomic

A taxonomic antonym is an antonym which then has the meaning of an absolute contradiction of meaning. An example is the word “life and death”, there is a clear and firm boundary between the words life and death. Something that is alive is certainly not dead, and something that is dead is definitely not alive.

4. Antonyms of Polarity

While polar antonyms, is an antonym that does not always have an absolute opposite word. These antonyms can be relative or definite. This is because the boundaries of the meaning of one word and another cannot be determined clearly and unequivocally. For example in big and small words. The goat will be something small when compared to the horse and will be something big when compared to the cat. Furthermore, the cat will then be something big when compared to the mouse and will be something small when compared to the dog. So, there are no clear boundaries for big and small words

5. Antonyms are Graded and Not Graded

Graded antonyms are matched meanings that are tiered or multilevel. This is then related to the relative characteristics that are generally owned by the unit of speech. The word hot is usually an antonym with the word cold, even though it has the possibility of having an antonym in the form of hotter or colder. To understand it better, consider the following sentence! This water is colder than the water in the jug. Meanwhile, non-graded antonyms are non-leveled or tiered resistance. For example, grandparents >< grandparents

6. Antonyms are Orthogonal and Antipodal

Orthogonal antonyms are opposites of meaning whose position is not diametrical. For example, the word north has antonyms that are orthogonal to all cardinal directions, except for the south. So, it can be said that according to orthogonal antonyms, the word north has antonyms with northeast, east, southeast, southwest, west, and northwest. Meanwhile, antipodal antonym is a resistance of meaning whose opposition is diametrical. Therefore, if analyzed using the same example as before, the word north has an antonym with south. Likewise with northeast which then has antonyms with southwest, east with west, and between southeast and northwest.

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7. Antonyms are Relative

Antonyms are also relative, they can also be referred to as graded antonyms (oppositions). This is because there are still levels of meaning in the utterance unit. These levels of meaning do not have a clear boundary between one another, therefore they are called relative. Example: Rich >< Poor

8. Antonyms Are Absolute

Antonyms with absolute characteristics are two units of utterance that have absolutely opposite meanings or cannot be refuted. For example in Dead >< Alive Why is the word dead antonymous with the word alive? Because between life and death there is an absolute boundary. Something that is alive is certainly not or (yet) dead; Likewise with something that dies then it is certainly no longer alive.

9. Antonyms are relational

The meaning of speech units that have relational characteristics (relationships) is to complement one another. That is, the presence of one word with another word will then become a relationship. For example in Sell >< buy

Now, after knowing the characteristics and properties of antonyms, it feels incomplete if you don’t discuss examples of antonyms. In the next discussion, we will discuss examples of antonyms. So, keep reading this article until it’s finished, Grameds.

Antonym example

Below are some examples of antonyms that you need to know.

  • Cold or hot
  • Big or Small
  • Members or Public
  • Magical or Ordinary, common, commonplace and commonplace
  • Death or Life, breathe
  • Teach or teacher: Student, student, student
  • Late or Early, begin
  • Hereafter or World
  • Familiar or distant, far away
  • Base or Cover, roof
  • Body or Soul, spirit
  • Bad or Good
  • Noisy or Quiet, quiet
  • Speak or Silence
  • Installment or Cash
  • Flat or Descending
  • Dirty or Clean
  • Double or Single
  • Elastic or Rigid
  • Physical or Spirit, soul
  • Fake or Real, real
  • Aged or Young, young
  • Geger or Peace, calm down
  • Happy or Sad, already, sad
  • Out or Left
  • Haram or Halal, yes
  • Life or Death, die
  • Happy or Sad
  • Strong or Weak
  • Good or bad
  • Light or Dark
  • Real or fake
  • Compact or Loose
  • Reward or Sin
  • Expert or Public
  • Uncle or Aunt
  • Regular or Rarely
  • Patient or Angry
  • Legal or Illegal
  • Copy or Paste
  • Same or Different
  • Cause or Effect
  • Before or after
  • Sad or Happy
  • Sharp or Blunt
  • Add or Less
  • Tough or Vulnerable
  • Catch or Release
  • Ascend or Descend


From all the explanations above it can be said that antonyms are the opposite of the meaning of a word, such as happy the opposite is sad. After reading this article to the end, are you still confused about antonyms? Don’t worry because you can find out more about antonyms through the antonym books available at gramedia.com .

Recommended Books Related to Antonyms You Must Read

1. Smart Dictionary of Antonyms & EYD Synonyms

Examples of Antonyms

The Smart Dictionary of Synonyms Antonyms and Indonesian Enhanced Spelling EYD, this book is very complete and solid in which it contains how to use Indonesian well. – With this book, readers can add a very broad knowledge. So this book is used as a student guide for school and public grip. Synonyms and antonyms are very useful in everyday life, whether in writing or in direct conversation.

Because by knowing synonyms and antonyms, we can place or use good language. The presence of this book is an effort to support students and the general public to further explore or find out more about the wide range of equivalents or opposites that this country has. In addition, this book can be used as a collection of your personal wardrobe. Because by keeping this book, you are the same as helping to preserve Indonesian grammar. Maybe for now you don’t need it, but who knows for future generations?

2. Revised Edition Dictionary of Indonesian Synonyms and Antonyms

Examples of Antonyms

In contrast to general language dictionaries, using the Synonym – Antonym Dictionary can provide more benefits. As the saying goes. “One oar, two islands crossed.” When we look for similarities or meanings (synonyms) of a word, we also know the opposite (antonym) of that word. This Indonesian Dictionary of Synonyms – Antonyms, in addition to containing synonyms and antonyms of standard Indonesian words, also has entries in the form of terms or expressions that are commonly used in everyday life.

The additional number of entries is a real difference in this revised edition. Equally important, is the inclusion of examples of the use of words/terms in sentences. Thus, it is hoped that this simple dictionary will be increasingly useful for students, students, writers, as well as audiences who are interested in improving their Indonesian language proficiency.

3. Indonesian Language Writing and Presentation of the Revised Edition

Examples of Antonyms

Writing in Indonesian is the main language skill that must be mastered by students. Fundamentally, students need to understand Enhanced Spelling in Indonesian, compose effective sentences, organize sentences in paragraphs cohesively and coherently, to be able to write essays (academic and non-academic). These materials are presented in this book to strengthen their mastery before moving on to mastering more in-depth and complex scientific writing. By mastering the basic material above, then, students are guided to be skilled at reproducing information from other people’s reading or writing, compiling papers, and writing research proposals.

These materials are prepared in this book to assist students in doing many assignments during lectures. More than that, this book outlines how to make scientific presentations in academic forums. It is felt that this oral presentation is important to master from an early age so that students can really become proficient at presenting their ideas. To test the ability of each material, this book also contains many exercises to be discussed in class.

4. General Guidelines for Indonesian Spelling and Formation of Terms

Examples of Antonyms

A good and correct guidebook for using the Indonesian language is always needed, anytime and anywhere. Almost everyone uses this book, both for academic and non-academic purposes. However, it is rare to find a book that completely covers the latest General Guidelines for Indonesian Spelling (PUEBI). This book contains among others: Use of Letters, Writing Words, Use of Punctuation, and so on.

Thus the discussion about the meaning to examples of antonym words, I hope all the discussion above is useful for you. To support Grameds in adding insight, Gramedia always provides quality and original books so that Grameds has #MoreWithReading information.

Author: Sofyan

Source: from various sources


  1. Definition of Antonyms and Synonyms with the Difference 
  2. Definition, Types, Benefits, and Constraints for Using Synonyms 
  3. Practice CPNS Test Questions Antonym Material 
  4. Diction: Definition, Type, Function, and Characteristics 
  5. Various Majas and Examples 

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