Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The use of a word or phrase in a sense contrary to its normal meaning for ironic or humorous effect, as in a mere babe of 40 years.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In rhetoric, the use of a word in a sense opposite to its proper meaning, or when its opposite should have been used; irony, used either in sarcasm or in humor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Rhet.) The use of words in a sense opposite to their proper meaning; as when a court of justice is called a court of vengeance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun rhetoric Use of a word or phrase in a sense not in accord with its literal meaning, especially for ironic or humorous effect

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

  • noun the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal sense (especially in irony)

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin, from Greek, from antiphrazein, to express by the opposite : anti-, anti- + phrazein, to speak; see phrase.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

anti- +‎ phrasis

Examples

Comments

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  • JM is an inveterate antiphrasis avocado.

    December 22, 2010