- The definition of antithesis is a contrary or opposite opinion, concept, or characteristic.
An example of someone who is the antithesis of friendly is a grump.
- a contrast or opposition of thoughts, usually in two phrases, clauses, or sentences (Ex.: you are going; I am staying)
- the second part of such an expression
- a contrast or opposition
- the exact opposite: joy is the antithesis of sorrow
Origin: Middle English antitesis ; from Late Latin antithesis ; from Classical Greek ; from antithenai ; from anti-, against plush tithenai, to place: see do
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. an·tith·e·ses
- Direct contrast; opposition.
- The direct or exact opposite: Hope is the antithesis of despair.
- a. A figure of speech in which sharply contrasting ideas are juxtaposed in a balanced or parallel phrase or grammatical structure, as in “Hee for God only, shee for God in him” (John Milton).b. The second and contrasting part of such a juxtaposition.
- The second stage of the Hegelian dialectic process, representing the opposite of the thesis.
Origin: Late Latin, from Greek, from antitithenai, antithe-, to oppose : anti-, anti- + tithenai, to set; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.