from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A word that has two opposing meanings, such as cleave (“come together” or “split apart”).


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

contra- + -onym, coined 1962 by Jack Herring as contronym.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • For more examples, look at this list:

    November 23, 2016

  • a word that can mean the opposite of itself such as

    clip - attach to

    clip - cut off from

    June 9, 2009

  • Same as autoantonym.

    July 19, 2008

  • A contranym, sometimes called a "Janus word," can take on either of two opposite meanings. I made a list of my 'favorrite' ones here.

    May 15, 2008

  • What, you mean "transparent" used to mean "someone can easily see how this works"? I would say it has a toehold on contranymity, as a non-opaque item would be harder to see and understand than an opaque one.

    October 30, 2007

  • And what about transparent, as in user transparent? Not quite a contranym, yet peculiar to me, a non-technical person. (I am, however, technically a person)

    June 20, 2007

  • cleave


    June 20, 2007