Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Direct contrast; opposition.
  • n. The direct or exact opposite: Hope is the antithesis of despair.
  • n. 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).
  • n. The second and contrasting part of such a juxtaposition.
  • n. The second stage of the Hegelian dialectic process, representing the opposite of the thesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A proposition that is the diametric opposite of some other proposition.
  • n. A device by which two contrasting ideas are juxtaposed in parallel form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An opposition or contrast of words or sentiments occurring in the same sentence; as, “The prodigal robs his heir; the miser robs himself.” “He had covertly shot at Cromwell; he how openly aimed at the Queen.”
  • n. The second of two clauses forming an antithesis.
  • n. Opposition; contrast.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Opposition; contrast.
  • n. That which is opposed or contrasted, as one of two opposite judgments or propositions: in this sense opposed to thesis (which see). Specifically
  • n. In rhetoric, a figure consisting in bringing contrary ideas or terms into close opposition; a contrast or an opposition of words or sentiments: as, “When our vices leave us, we flatter ourselves we leave them”; “The prodigal robs his heir, the miser robs himself”; “Excess of ceremony shows want of breeding.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. exact opposite
  • n. the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance

Etymologies

Late Latin, from Greek, from antitithenai, antithe-, to oppose : anti-, anti- + tithenai, to set; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀντί (anti, "against") + θέσις (thesis, "position"). (Wiktionary)

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