Antonyms: Useful List of 60+ Common Opposite Words You Should Know

Opposite words, also known as antonyms, are an essential part of the English language. They are used to express contrast or opposition between two words, and are often used to describe the relationship between two ideas. For example, the opposite of hot is cold, the opposite of fast is slow, and the opposite of big is small.

Whether you are a student, a professional writer, or simply someone who enjoys reading and communicating in English, understanding antonyms is an essential skill. In this article, we will explore the world of opposite words, and provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to use them effectively in your writing and communication.


What Are Opposite Words?

Antonyms are words that express opposite or contrasting meanings. They are often used to provide clarity and precision in communication. For example, the antonym of the word “hot” is “cold”, and the antonym of “good” is “bad”. Antonyms can be found in various parts of speech, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

Opposite Words

Antonyms are important in language because they help us to communicate more effectively. By using antonyms, we can convey the exact opposite of what we mean, which can be useful in many situations. For example, if we want to say that something is not good, we can use the antonym “bad” instead of using a phrase like “not good”. This makes our language more concise and precise.


Antonyms are essential in many areas of language, including writing, speaking, and comprehension. They help us to express ourselves more accurately and effectively, and they make our language more interesting and varied. Antonyms also help us to understand the nuances of language and to appreciate the complexity of words and their meanings.

In addition, antonyms can be useful in developing vocabulary and improving language skills. By learning antonyms, we can expand our knowledge of language and deepen our understanding of words and their meanings. This can be particularly helpful for students who are learning a new language or who are trying to improve their language skills.

Opposite Words

List of Opposite Words

Word Antonym
Abandon Keep
Able Incapable
Abundant Insufficient
Active Idle
Adequate Insufficient
Full Empty
Future Past
Gallant Ungentlemanly
Gaunt Overweight
Gentle Rough
Intelligent Ignorant
Insane Sane
Imperative Unnecessary
Good Bad
Fresh Old
Follow Precede
Migrant Stationary
Offend Please
Numerous Few
Negligent Conscientious
Mobile Immobile
Mourn Rejoice
Naughty Good
Oblivious Mindful
Observe Ignore
Join Separate
Lure Repel
Magnify Reduce
Laugh Cry
Boy Girl
Total Partial
Melt Freeze
Irregular Regular
Alive Death
Visible Invisible
Normal Strange
Import Export
Night Day
Give Take
Hard Easy
Increase Reduce
Ally Enemy
Sunny Cloudy
Amateur Professional
Sweet Sour
Stop Move
Soft Hard
Male Female
Never Always
Hot Cold
Love Hate
Happy Sad
Big Small
Fast Slow
Up Down
Light Dark
Win Lose
Start End
Open Close
Young Old
Strong Weak
Rich Poor
Wet Dry
Inside Outside
True False
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Antonyms with Examples

Abandon – Keep

  • We decided to abandon the first draft of the report and start over.
  • It is necessary to keep these two issues distinct.

Able — Incapable

  • We were able to watch the lions in complete safety.
  • The injured man was incapable of walking, so he had to be carried.

Abundant — Insufficient

  • Mosquitoes are extremely abundant in this dark wet place.
  • He decided there was insufficient evidence to justify criminal proceedings.

Active — Idle

  • You’ve got to try to keep active as you grow older.
  • Many people were idle during the depression.

Adequate — Insufficient

  • The trains were not considered adequate for use on the modern railways.
  • His salary is insufficient to meet his needs.

Full — Empty

  • This suitcase won’t lock because it is too full.
  • The house stands desolate and empty.

Future — Past

  • I am on my way to the future, where you are there.
  • I’m trying not to be sentimental about the past.

Gallant — Ungentlemanly

  • She made a gallant attempt to hide her tears.
  • I am surprised at your ungentlemanly behavior.

Gaunt — Overweight

  • He was gaunt and hollow-eyed; his voice trembled.
  • She said insensitive things to the overweight woman.

Gentle — Rough

  • She gave him a gentle push towards the door.
  • He saw it as rough justice when he got food poisoning from the stolen meat.

Intelligent — Ignorant

  • Jack is an intelligent pupil, but he lacks motivation.
  • He’s completely ignorant about modern technology.

Insane — Sane

  • The prisoners were slowly going insane.
  • He seems perfectly sane to me.

Imperative — Unnecessary

  • It is imperative that every one of us remolds his world outlook.
  • She often pothers herself over unnecessary details.

Good — Bad

  • good book is a light to the soul.
  • bad beginning makes a bad ending.

Fresh — Old

  • We’ll have a fresh start for the year ahead.
  • Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

Follow — Precede

  • She used to follow after him wherever he went.
  • We make sure our horizontal strokes precede our perpendicular.

Migrant  — Stationary

  • A lot of factory work is done by migrant workers.
  • The bus crashed into a stationary vehicle.

Offend — Please

  • She didn’t mean to offend you; she was overwrought.
  • Your sister is trying to read; please be quiet for her sake.

Numerous — Few

  • The book contains numerous plagiarized passages.
  • He hastily stuffed a few clothes into a bag.

Negligent — Conscientious

  • She was negligent in her work.
  • He is very conscientious in the performance of his duties.

Mobile – Immobile

  • The old lady sits on a mobile chair every morning.
  • She sat immobile, wondering what to do next.

Mourn — Rejoice

  • I really mourn the loss of that gold watch.
  • rejoice that you have recovered so quickly.

Naughty – Good

  • The naughty children chucked snowballs at passing cars.
  • We know not what is good until we have lost it.

Oblivious – Mindful

  • The couple seemed oblivious to what was going on around them.
  • We must be mindful of the consequences of selfishness.

Observe – Ignore

  • I want you to observe all the details.
  • I made a suggestion but they chose to ignore it.

Join – Separate

  • She left her husband to join a women’s commune.
  • The women are kept separate from the men.

Lure — Repel

  • It’s very difficult to lure talent away from Silicon Valley.
  • The army was ready to repel an attack.

Magnify — Reduce

  • He tried to magnify the part he acted in the play.
  • The aim is to reduce traffic at peak periods.

Laugh – Cry

  • You never laugh at my jokes!
  • The strong woman is will cry, but never admit defeat.

Boy — Girl

  • We rescued the boy who fell into the river.
  • The girl bought a nice handbag.

Total — Partial

  • The total bill comes to £80, so our share is £20.
  • Our holiday was only a partial success.

Melt – Freeze

  • If you warm ice, it will melt into water.
  • When the thermometer is below zero water will freeze.

Amateur — Professional

  • Acting with an amateur theatrical group can be fun.
  • She wants to become a professional cook.

Types of Antonyms

When it comes to antonyms, there are three main types: gradable, complementary, and relational antonyms. Each type has its own unique characteristics and uses.

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Gradable Antonyms

Gradable antonyms are words that are on opposite ends of a spectrum or scale. They are often used to compare two things or concepts. For example, “hot” and “cold” are gradable antonyms because they represent two extremes on the temperature scale.

These antonyms can be further divided into two subcategories: scalar and polar. Scalar antonyms have multiple degrees of comparison between them, while polar antonyms only have two extremes.

Complementary Antonyms

Complementary antonyms are words that are complete opposites and cannot coexist. They are often used to describe binary concepts, such as “dead” and “alive” or “on” and “off.”

These antonyms are often used in logic and philosophy to describe mutually exclusive concepts. They are also commonly used in everyday language to describe opposing ideas.

Relational Antonyms

Relational antonyms are words that are opposite in terms of their relationship to another word. For example, “parent” and “child” are relational antonyms because they are opposite in terms of their relationship to each other.

These antonyms are often used in pairs and are dependent on each other. They are commonly used in language to describe relationships between people, objects, and concepts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common antonyms in the English language?

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Some common antonyms in the English language include hot and cold, good and bad, up and down, left and right, and happy and sad.

What is the opposite meaning of the word ‘happy’?

The opposite of the word ‘happy’ is ‘sad’.

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What are some easy opposite words in English?

Some easy opposite words in English include big and small, fast and slow, light and dark, and old and young.

What are 20 frequently used opposite words?

  1. Good – Bad
  2. Up – Down
  3. Left – Right
  4. Happy – Sad
  5. Hot – Cold
  6. Young – Old
  7. Fast – Slow
  8. Light – Dark
  9. Big – Small
  10. Easy – Difficult
  11. Empty – Full
  12. Far – Near
  13. Heavy – Light
  14. In – Out
  15. Love – Hate
  16. Loud – Quiet
  17. Rich – Poor
  18. Thick – Thin
  19. Wet – Dry
  20. Yes – No

What is another term for ‘opposite’?

Another term for ‘opposite’ is ‘antonym’.

What are 10 examples of synonyms and their corresponding antonyms?

  1. Happy – Sad
  2. Big – Small
  3. Good – Bad
  4. Hot – Cold
  5. Love – Hate
  6. Light – Dark
  7. Fast – Slow
  8. Rich – Poor
  9. Thick – Thin
  10. Young – Old

Last Updated on November 25, 2023

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