A lot —— A little

  • We’ve spent a lot on the children’s education.
  • Fortunately, I had a little time to spare.

Abate —— Increase

  • Steps are to be taken to abate pollution.
  • The population has increased from 1.2 million to 1.8 million.

Able —— Unable

  • You must be able to speak French for this job.
  • She was unable to hide her excitement.

Abortive —— Successful

  • During the war of 1770 the Greeks had risen in an abortive rebellion, promptly crushed by the Turks.
  • They were successful in winning the contract.

Above —— Below

  • I heard a strange noise coming from the room above.
  • I could hear voices in the courtyard below my window.

Abridge —— Expand

Antonyms examples:

  • She has been asked to abridge the novel for radio.
  • The waist expands to fit all sizes.

Absent —— Present

  • Students who are regularly absent from school.
  • The gases present in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Abundant —— Scarce

  • Fish are abundant in the lake.
  • Food was often scarce in the winter.

Accept —— Decline

  • Rick accepted her offer of coffee.
  • His school reports said that he never declines a challenge.

Accept —— Refuse

Opposites examples:

  • He accepted the invitation to stay with us.
  • The chairman refused to answer any more questions.

Accurate —— Inaccurate

  • The brochure tries to give a fair and accurate description of each hotel.
  • A lot of what has been written about him is inaccurate.

Achieve —— Fail

  • He had finally achieved success.
  • She failed to get into art college.

Add —— Subtract

  • If you add all these amounts together you get a huge figure.
  • If you subtract 6 from 9, you get 3.

Adjacent —— Distant

  • We stayed in adjacent rooms.
  • Stars are distant from our galaxy.

Admire —— Detest

Antonyms examples:

  • I really admire your enthusiasm.
  • The two men detested each other.

Admit —— Deny

  • A quarter of all workers admit to taking time off when they are not ill.
  • The department denies responsibility for what occurred.

Admit —— Reject

  • She admits to being strict with her children.
  • The prime minister rejected any idea of reforming the system.

Adore —— Hate

  • She adores working with children.
  • I hate to see you unhappy.

Advance —— Retreat

Opposites examples:

  • The troops were finally given the order to advance.
  • The army was forced to retreat after suffering heavy losses.

Advantage —— Disadvantage

  • Her experience meant that she had a big advantage over her opponent.
  • The disadvantage of the material is that it fades in strong sunlight.

Against —— For

  • Mr. Howard has declared that he is against all forms of racism.
  • Everybody is always for peace.

Agree —— Disagree

Opposite words examples:

  • If she felt he was right, she would agree with him.
  • He is tolerant of those who disagree with him.

Alive —— Dead

  • It was a bad accident – they’re lucky to be alive.
  • Two men were shot dead by terrorists.

All —— None

  • Have you done all your homework?
  • We saw several houses but none we really liked.

Allow —— Forbid

  • My parents wouldn’t allow me to go to the party.
  • He was forbidden to leave the house, as a punishment.

Ally —— Enemy

Antonyms examples:

  • Ridley was one of the Queen’s closest allies.
  • He was accused of collaboration with the enemy.

Alone —— Together

  • She lives alone.
  • We’ve very much enjoyed working together.

Always —— Never

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.
  • He’s never been to Australia.

Amateur —— Professional

  • Mickelson won his first major golf tournament while still an amateur.
  • You need a professional to sort out your finances.

Amuse —— Bore

Opposites examples:

  • He made funny faces to amuse the children.
  • His blue eyes seemed to bore into her.

Ancient —— Modern

  • So according to history it has been found from the most ancient times, and so it is to our own day.
  • They are the youngest children in modern times to face murder charges.

Annoy —— Soothe

  • She annoyed him with her stupid questions.
  • She made a cup of tea to soothe her nerves.

Answer —— Question

Opposite words examples:

  • The short answer is that it can’t be done.
  • They asked me quite a lot of difficult questions about my job.

Apparent —— Obscure

  • The difference in quality was immediately apparent.
  • I found her lecture very obscure.

Arrive —— Leave

  • He arrived late as usual.
  • My baby gets upset when I leave the room.

Arrive —— Depart

Opposites examples:

  • What time does the plane arrive in New York?
  • Flights by Air Europe depart Gatwick on Tuesdays.

Arrogant —— Humble

  • He was unbearably arrogant.
  • Taylor’s students describe him as a humble and modest man.

Ascend —— Descend

Antonyms examples:

  • The plane ascended rapidly.
  • Our plane started to descend.

Ask —— Answer

  • We’ll have to ask someone the way to the station.
  • I repeated the question, but she didn’t answer.

Ask —— Tell

  • I asked him where he lived.
  • Jack had to go, but he didn’t tell me why.

Attack —— Defend

  • There have been several attacks on foreigners recently.
  • We need to defend against military aggression.

Attractive —— Repulsive

  • She is an attractive woman.
  • What a repulsive man!

Awake —— Asleep

Opposites examples:

  • She was still only half awake when I brought her a cup of coffee.
  • Kelly was asleep on the sofa.

Awkward —— Graceful

  • She may appear stiff and perhaps awkward.
  • Her father was a quiet man with graceful manners.

Opposites/Antonyms (B)

List of opposite words that start with B with examples.

Back —— Front

  • I found some old photos at the back of the drawer.
  • There’s a garden at the front of the house.

Bad —— Good

  • I have some bad news for you.
  • The train service is not very good.

Bare —— Covered

  • The room was completely bare except for a bed against the wall.
  • The walls were covered with pictures.

Beautiful —— Ugly

Opposites examples:

  • The bride looked beautiful in that dress.
  • He was short, nearsighted, ugly and exceptionally awkward.

Before —— After

  • I saw her a few days before she died.
  • I go swimming every day after work.

Begin —— End

Antonyms examples:

  • In the third year, students begin the study of classical Chinese.
  • The speaker ended by suggesting some topics for discussion.

Beginning —— Conclusion

  • There’s a short poem at the beginning of every chapter.
  • At the conclusion of the meeting, little progress had been made.

Behind —— In front of

  • I turned to speak to the person standing behind me.
  • She spends all day sitting in front of her computer.

Best —— Worst

  • He won the best actor award.
  • This is the worst recession for fifty years.

Better —— Worse

Opposites examples:

  • There must be a better way to do this.
  • The violence was worse than we expected.

Big —— Little

  • They belong to the rich man who lives in the big white house there among the trees.
  • He was quite an old little man and his head was long and entirely bald.

Birth —— Death

  • What’s your date of birth?
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in women.

Bitter —— Sweet

  • Black coffee leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
  • This tea is too sweet.

Black —— White

  • Matthew had thick black hair, but Natalie’s was blonde.
  • His face is white, and he seems very weak.

Blame —— Praise

  • Marie still blames herself for Patrick’s death.
  • The mayor praised the rescue teams for their courage.

Bless —— Curse

Antonyms examples:

  • God bless you!
  • Elsa cursed herself for believing his lies.

Blunt —— Sharp

  • Sharpen all your blunt knives.
  • Make sure you use a good sharp knife.

Body —— Soul

  • Your body temperature is higher in the daytime than at night.
  • There was a feeling of restlessness deep in her soul.

Bold —— Timid

  • My aunt was a bold determined woman.
  • I was a timid child.

Boring —— Interesting

  • I trudged through a boring day, knowing I’d return to an empty apartment as Betsy was off to Los Angeles for the entire week.
  • Dr. Bell told me many interesting things about his work.

Bottom —— Top

Opposites examples:

  • I waited for them at the bottom of the hill.
  • She was standing at the top of the stairs.

Boundless —— Limited

  • Today, the opportunities for leaders are boundless, but so are the challenges.
  • My knowledge of the business is limited.

Boy —— Girl

  • The boys wanted to play football.
  • I’ve known Mollie ever since I was a little girl.

Brave —— Cowardly

  • It was brave of you to speak in front of all those people.
  • He was very cowardly because he did not tell that truth.

Break —— Repair

  • I had to break a window to get into the house.
  • It was too late to repair the damage done to their relationship.

Brief —— Long

  • We stopped by Alice’s house for a brief visit.
  • He’s been gone a long time.

Bright —— Dull

Antonyms examples:

  • The weather was bright and sunny.
  • Outside the weather was hazy and dull.

Brighten —— Fade

  • The morning sunshine brightened up the room.
  • The sun had faded the curtains.

Bring —— Remove

  • Robert asked the waiter to bring him the check.
  • Reference books may not be removed from the library.

Brother —— Sister

  • My younger brother is a doctor.
  • My older sister is a nurse.

Busy —— Idle

Opposite words examples:

  • Mr. Haynes is busy with a customer at the moment.
  • The workers have been idle for the last six months.

Buy —— Sell

  • The money will be used to buy equipment for the school.
  • If you offer him another hundred, I think he’ll sell.

Opposites/Antonyms (C)

List of opposite words that start with C with examples.

Calm —— Windy

  • It is a calm day.
  • It’s too windy for a picnic.

Capable —— Incapable

  • All the staff at the nursing home seemed very capable.
  • He seemed incapable of understanding how she felt.

Captive —— Free

  • His son had been taken captive during the raid.
  • He knew he could be free in as little as three years.

Capture —— Release

  • The robbery was captured on police video cameras.
  • Police arrested several men, who were later released.

Careful —— Careless

  • He was being very careful with the coffee so as not to spill it.
  • He’s careless with his glasses and has lost three pairs.

Cautious —— Careless

Antonyms examples:

  • Keller is cautious about making predictions for the success of the program.
  • It was careless of him to leave the door unlocked.

Center —— Edge

  • His goal is to turn Stanford into a center for environmental policy.
  • Billy sat on the edge of the bed.

Change —— Remain

  • Susan has changed a lot since I last saw her.
  • Despite the job losses, Parker remained as manager.

Cheap —— Expensive

Opposites examples:

  • Property is cheaper in Spain than here.
  • Petrol is becoming more and more expensive.

Cheerful —— Sad

  • She’s feeling more cheerful today.
  • I was sad about the friends I was leaving behind.

Child —— Adult

Antonyms examples:

  • I was very happy as a child.
  • Some children find it difficult to talk to adults.

Chilly —— Warm

  • Despite the chilly autumn afternoon, she was wearing a thin cotton dress.
  • I hope we get some warm weather soon.

Clean —— Dirty

  • As usual, she left her room clean and tidy before going to school.
  • She circled the bedroom, picking up dirty clothes.

Clever —— Stupid

  • Lucy is quite clever and does well at school.
  • That was a stupid thing to say.

Clever —— Foolish

  • She is a clever girl.
  • I was young and foolish at the time.

Close —— Open

Opposites examples:

  • Would you mind if I closed the window?
  • Mr. Chen opened the car door for his wife.

Cold —— Hot

  • Let’s get in out of this cold wind.
  • In dry gourds, they were served a hot tea made from the ground leaves of something Bordeaux called the lip fern.

Combine —— Separate

Antonyms examples:

  • A number of factors have combined to create this difficult situation.
  • Those suffering from infectious diseases were separated from the other patients.

Comfort —— Discomfort

  • All our sports shoes are designed for comfort and performance.
  • There can be no question of her discomfort.

Complete —— Incomplete

  • Work on the new building is nearly complete.
  • Unfortunately, I do not have the information because our records are incomplete.

Complex —— Simple

Opposite words examples:

  • It was a very complex relationship between two complex people.
  • I’m sure there’s a perfectly simple explanation.

Compliment —— Insult

  • Being compared to Abba is a great compliment.
  • His comments were seen as an insult to the president.

Conceal —— Reveal

Opposites examples:

  • She tried to conceal the fact that she was pregnant.
  • He may be prosecuted for revealing secrets about the security agency.

Continue —— Interrupt

  • Sheila continued to work after she had her baby.
  • My studies were interrupted by the war.

Cool —— Warm

  • The evening air was cool.
  • I hope we get some warm weather soon.

Copy —— Original

Antonyms examples:

  • We have six copies of the movie to give away.
  • He copied paintings of famous artists and passed them off as originals.

Correct —— Incorrect

  • If my calculations are correct, we’re about ten miles from Exeter.
  • The information you gave us was incorrect.

Correct —— Wrong

  • You are correct, the Missouri is the longest river in the US.
  • Your calculations must be wrong.

Countryman —— Foreigner

Opposites examples:

  • He didn’t look like a farmer, yet he looked a countryman.
  • Tom felt that people were suspicious of him because he was a foreigner.

Courage —— Cowardice

  • Sue showed great courage throughout her illness.
  • She was ashamed of her cowardice.

Crazy —— Sane

  • The neighbors must think we’re crazy.
  • Of course he isn’t mad. He’s as sane as you or I.

Create —— Destroy

Antonyms examples:

  • The new factory is expected to create more than 400 new jobs.
  • The scandal destroyed Simmons and ended his political career.

Cruel —— Kind

  • The prisoner was a hard cruel man.
  • She’s a very kind and generous person.

Customer —— Supplier

Opposite words examples:

  • We aim to offer good value and service to all our customers.
  • You will need to be able to deal with both customers and suppliers.


Opposites/Antonyms (D)

List of opposite words that start with D with examples.

Damage —— Improve

  • Smoking can severely damage your health.
  • The doctors say she is improving.

Dark —— Bright

  • At the kitchen door she nearly ran into a dark form.
  • With his small frame and bright eyes, he’d always reminded her of an elf of some sort.

Dark —— Light

Opposites examples:

  • The church was dark and quiet.
  • The kitchen was light and spacious.

Dawn —— Sunset

  • It had been the hope which had kept her going through the dawn and early morning.
  • Lovers walked hand in hand towards the sunset.

Daytime —— Midnight

  • I can’t sleep in the daytime.
  • We stayed there until way after midnight.

Deep —— Shallow

Opposites examples:

  • The castle is on an island surrounded by a deep lake.
  • The lake is quite shallow.

Demand —— Supply

  • I demand to know what’s going on.
  • An informer supplied the police with the names of those involved in the crime.

Despair —— Hope

  • She killed herself in despair.
  • When I first arrived in New York, I was full of hope for the future.

Difficult —— Easy

  • The exam was very difficult.
  • Finishing the task will be easy.

Dim —— Bright

Opposite words examples:

  • Isaac was old and his eyes were dim.
  • Her eyes were hurting from the bright lights.

Discourage —— Encourage

  • My father is a lawyer, and he discouraged me from entering the field.
  • I want to thank everyone who has encouraged and supported me.

Doctor —— Patient

Antonyms examples:

  • She was treated by her local doctor.
  • St Dominic’s Hospital treats about 10,000 patients a year.

Doubt —— Trust

  • The incident raises doubts about the safety of nuclear power.
  • You shouldn’t put your trust in a man like that.

Downwards —— Upwards

  • Share prices continued their downward trend.
  • Stroke the cream onto your skin in an upward direction.

Drunk —— Sober

  • David would get drunk and I would have to take him home and put him to bed.
  • He’s a nice guy when he’s sober.

Dry —— Wet

Opposites examples:

  • The air was dry and hot, as if she were in a sauna.
  • Deidre whipped the door open, ignoring the sting of her wet hair against her shoulders.

Dusk —— Dawn

  • The street lights go on at dusk.
  • The boats set off at dawn.

Opposites/Antonyms (E)

List of opposite words that start with E with examples.

Early —— Late

  • The bus was ten minutes early.
  • You’re half an hour late.

Earth —— Sky

Antonyms examples:

  • They watched the kite fall back to earth.
  • There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

East —— West

  • He turned and walked away towards the east.
  • A damp wind blew from the west.

Easy —— Hard

  • The test was easy.
  • You’ll have to make some hard decisions.

Effective —— Ineffective

Opposites examples:

  • Training is often much less effective than expected.
  • The chemical was almost totally ineffective in killing the weeds.

Elementary —— Advanced

  • You’ve made a very elementary mistake.
  • She is learning advanced physics.

Employer —— Employee

  • They’re very good employers.
  • The firm has over 500 employees.

Empty —— Full

Opposite words examples:

  • The fuel tank’s almost empty.
  • The kitchen was full of smoke.

Enter —— Exit

Opposites examples:

  • Silence fell as I entered the room.
  • I exited through a side window.

Evening —— Morning

  • I do most of my studying in the evening.
  • I’m not feeling very well this morning.

Evil —— Good

Antonyms examples:

  • There is too much evil in the world.
  • I learn to see life as a titanic moral struggle between good and evil.

Excited —— Bored

  • I’m so excited that we’re going to New York.
  • After a while, I got bored and left.

Exhale —— Inhale

  • He sat back and exhaled deeply.
  • She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.

Expand —— Contract

  • The last were razed in 1890, and the town was permitted to expand in this direction.
  • All leeches are very extensile and can contract the body to a plump, pearshaped form, or extend it to a long and wormlike shape.

Expand —— Shrink

Opposite words examples:

  • The hotel wants to expand its business by adding a swimming pool.
  • The firm’s staff had shrunk to only four people.

Export —— Import

  • Italian food has been exported all over the world.
  • We import coffee from Colombia.

Exterior —— Interior

Antonyms examples:

  • The dome is tiled on the exterior.
  • The interior of the church was dark.

External —— Internal

  • An external auditor will verify the accounts.
  • Some photos contain internal evidence that may help to date them.

Opposites/Antonyms (F)

List of opposite words that start with F with examples.

Fact —— Fiction

  • Much of the novel is based on fact.
  • Anthony’s first books were historical fiction.

Fake —— Real

Opposites examples:

  • The defense said the photos were fake.
  • She had never seen a real live elephant before.

Fall —— Rise

  • The rate of inflation was falling.
  • Sales rose by 20% over the Christmas period.

Famous —— Unknown

  • Many famous people have stayed in the hotel.
  • An unknown number of people were killed.

Fashionable —— Old Fashioned

  • He looked to be about her age and his blond hair was neatly combed into a fashionable style.
  • Many houses, especially in State, Danforth and Congress streets, are simple in style and oldfashioned in architecture.

Fast —— Slow

Opposites examples:

  • I’m a fast learner.
  • The wound was slow to heal.

Fat —— Thin

  • You’ll get fat if you eat all that chocolate.
  • He was tall and thin, with short brown hair.

Fat —— Skinny

  • He looks much fatter than in his photo.
  • Some supermodels are far too skinny.

Feeble —— Strong

Antonyms examples:

  • She was too feeble to leave her room.
  • Laura had a strong character.

Few —— Many

  • The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.
  • Many people have to use a car to travel to work.

Find —— Lose

  • “Yes. I couldn’t find a better friend than Alex, could I?” she said.
  • I didn’t want to lose you, but I didn’t want you to be unhappy like mother either.

Firm —— Flabby

Opposite words examples:

  • The sofa cushions are fairly firm.
  • It was that of a young man, tall but somewhat flabby muscled.

First —— Last

Opposites examples:

  • The first time I flew on a plane I was really nervous.
  • I hadn’t seen him since the last meeting.

Float —— Sink

  • I wasn’t sure if the raft would float.
  • Their motorboat struck a rock and began to sink.

Floor —— Ceiling

  • We are located on the seventh floor of the building.
  • The house has two rooms with high ceilings.

Foolish —— Wise

Opposites examples:

  • It would be foolish to ignore his advice.
  • I think you were wise to leave when you did.

Forget —— Remember

  • What happened that day will never be forgotten.
  • I remember meeting her at a party once.

Forgivable —— Unforgivable

  • It was an easily forgivable mistake.
  • Patrick had deceived her, and that was unforgivable.

Forgive —— Blame

Opposites examples:

  • I’ve tried to forgive him for what he said.
  • The report blames poor safety standards for the accident.

Fortunate —— Unfortunate

  • I’ve been fortunate to find a career that I love.
  • He has an unfortunate habit of repeating himself.

Forward —— Backward

  • He leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table.
  • She went without a backward glance.

Free —— Restricted

Opposite words examples:

  • The animals are allowed to run free in the park.
  • It’s difficult trying to work in such a restricted space.

Freeze —— Boil

Antonyms examples:

  • The water pipes have frozen.
  • We were advised to boil the water before drinking it.

Fresh —— Stale

  • The beans are fresh from the garden.
  • French bread goes stale very quickly.

Friend —— Enemy

Opposites examples:

  • Don’t worry, you’re among friends.
  • Cats and dogs have always been natural enemies.

Frown —— Smile

  • She frowned as she read the letter.
  • Mark read the message and smiled to himself.

Funny —— Sad

  • Do you remember any funny stories about work?
  • Dad looked sad and worried as he read the letter.


Opposites/Antonyms (G)

List of opposite words that start with G with examples.

Generous —— Stingy

  • She’s always very generous to the kids.
  • She’s too stingy to give money to charity.

Gentle —— Rough

Opposites examples:

  • Arthur was a very gentle, caring person.
  • Rugby is a very rough sport.

Giant —— Tiny

  • Giant cabbages grew in the garden.
  • You only need to use a tiny amount of salt.

Give —— Receive

Opposite words examples:

  • I’ve got some old diaries that my grandmother gave me years ago.
  • All the children will receive a small gift.

Grow —— Shrink

Antonyms examples:

  • Sales of new cars grew by 10% last year.
  • We want to expand the business, not shrink it.

Guilty —— Innocent

  • I feel really guilty about forgetting her birthday again.
  • Nobody would believe that I was innocent.

Opposites/Antonyms (H)

List of opposite words that start with H with examples.

Harmful —— Harmless

  • Scientists tend to agree that most diets don’t work and can be harmful.
  • Her brother’s a bit simple, but he’s quite harmless.

Harsh —— Mild

  • The Canadian winter is very harsh.
  • We had an exceptionally mild winter last year.

He —— She

Opposite words examples:

  • It was he who first suggested the idea.
  • I saw you talking to that girl. Who is she?

Healthy —— Sick

  • I’ve always been perfectly healthy until now.
  • Maria can’t come in today because she’s sick.

Heaven —— Hell

Antonyms examples:

  • He believed that he and his wife would one day be together again in heaven.
  • She must have gone through hell every day, the way we teased her about her weight.

Here —— There

  • What are you doing here?
  • We could go back to my cottage and have lunch there.

Hero —— Coward

  • He had dared to speak out against injustice, and overnight he became a national hero.
  • Perhaps I should have turned back but I didn’t want to be known as a quitter and a coward.

High —— Low

Opposites examples:

  • The camp was surrounded by a high fence.
  • The sun was low in the sky.

Hungry —— Full

  • If you get hungry, there’s some cold chicken in the fridge.
  • I ate chocolate cakes so I was full.

Husband —— Wife

  • Mr. Nicholls was a good husband.
  • One year he arrived with a young lady, then came back when she was his wife.

Opposites/Antonyms (I)

List of opposite words that start with I with examples.

Identical —— Different

  • The sisters were identical in appearance and character.
  • Her appearance and character are different.

Ignite —— Extinguish

  • The candle ignited the plastic.
  • Firemen were called to extinguish the blaze.

Ignorant —— Educated

Antonyms examples:

  • He’s ignorant about modern technology.
  • The boy came from a good home, was well educated and had every advantage.

Important —— Unimportant

  • Happiness is more important than money.
  • The exact details are unimportant.

Important —— Trivial

  • Nothing could be more important to me than my family.
  • We were punished for the most trivial offences.

In —— Out

Antonyms examples:

  • He took us for a drive in his new car.
  • Charlotte went to the window and looked out.

Increase —— Decrease

  • The population increased dramatically in the first half of the century.
  • The number of people who have the disease has decreased significantly in recent years.

Inside —— Outside

Opposite words examples:

  • The jewels were locked away inside the safe.
  • I’ll meet you outside the theatre at two o’clock.

Instructor —— Pupil

  • I managed to find a very good driving instructor.
  • The new law reduces the number off pupils per class in the first four years of schooling.

Opposites/Antonyms (J)

List of opposites that start with J with examples.

Joy —— Grief

  • I leaped into the air with joy.
  • Charles was overcome with grief.

Junior —— Senior

Opposites examples:

  • She started work as a junior reporter on a local newspaper.
  • He’s a senior executive at Volkswagen.

Justice —— Injustice

  • Children have a strong sense of justice.
  • The movie deals with injustices suffered by Native Americans.

Opposites/Antonyms (L)

List of opposite words that start with L with examples.

Landlord —— Tenant

  • The newspaper is negotiating with its landlord to reduce its rent.
  • They had evicted their tenants for nonpayment of rent.

Large —— Small

  • Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US.
  • The Tshirt was too small for him.

Laugh —— Cry

  • I laugh at her ignorance.
  • She began to cry, no longer able to deny what she knew deep down: she’d never get her life back.

Lawful —— Unlawful

Opposites examples:

  • The police may not interfere in lawful demonstrations
  • The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

Lazy —— Diligent

  • He felt too lazy to get out of bed.
  • She is a diligent student.

Lazy —— Industrious

  • He felt too lazy to get out of bed.
  • Most of the students I knew at college were serious and industrious.

Leave —— Stay

  • My baby gets upset when I leave the room.
  • I decided to stay home.

Legal —— Illegal

  • What the company has done is perfectly legal.
  • They were involved in illegal activities.

Lenient —— Strict

Antonyms examples:

  • School examiners say that marking has become more lenient in recent years.
  • This company is very strict about punctuality.

Like —— Dislike

  • I don’t like it when you get angry.
  • I dislike being the centre of attention.

Live —— Die

  • We used to live in London.
  • Her husband died suddenly last week.

Lock —— Unlock

  • I can’t get this drawer to lock.
  • I unlocked the door of the apartment and found that my wife was still awake.

Long —— Short

Antonyms examples:

  • He stretched out his long legs.
  • I’ve only been in Brisbane a short time.

Long —— Short

  • I haven’t been there for a long while.
  • I’ve only been in Brisbane a short time.

Loose —— Tight

  • I’m very uncomfortable in this loose shirt.
  • My shoes were so tight that I could hardly walk.

Loud —— Quiet

Opposites examples:

  • The music was so loud that I had to shout.
  • We’ll have to be quiet so as not to wake the baby.

Love —— Hate

  • Every mother loves her children.
  • She hates making mistakes.

Loyal —— Disloyal

  • The army has remained loyal to the government.
  • He felt he had been disloyal to his friends.

Opposites/Antonyms (M)

List of opposite words that start with M with examples.

Major —— Minor

  • There is a major problem with parking in London.
  • We have made some minor changes to the program.

Male —— Female

Opposites examples:

  • All the attackers were male, aged between 25 and 30.
  • Two of the candidates must be female.

Man —— Woman

  • He’s a very kind man.
  • When a woman is pregnant, the levels of hormones in her body change.

Marry —— Divorce

  • No one wanted a dying girlfriend, especially when she’d flat out refused to marry him.
  • She wants to divorce her husband.

Mature —— Immature

Antonyms examples:

  • Laura is very mature for her age.
  • He forgave his son’s immature behavior.

Maximum —— Minimum

  • The car has a maximum speed of 120 mph.
  • The minimum number of students we need to run the course is fifteen.

Melt —— Freeze

  • It was warmer now, and the snow was beginning to melt.
  • The lake had frozen overnight.

Merry —— Sad

  • He marched off, whistling a merry tune.
  • Lilly felt sad that Christmas was over.

Miser —— Spendthrift

Opposites examples:

  • Everyone said Mr. Henny was a miser who had thousands of pounds hidden under his bed.
  • She was by no means a spendthrift, but somehow all the money disappeared anyway.

Most —— Least

  • She’s one of the most experienced teachers in the district.
  • He’s my least favorite member of staff.

Opposites/Antonyms (N)

List of opposite words that start with N with examples.

Nadir —— Zenith

  • By 1932, the depression had reached its nadir.
  • The Roman Empire reached its zenith around the year 100.

Narrow —— Broad

Antonyms examples:

  • The stairs were very narrow.
  • The room is three meter long and two meter broad.

Nasty —— Nice

  • I went to school with him – he was nasty then and he’s nasty now.
  • You look nice in that suit.

Nasty —— Pleasant

  • Drivers often have a nasty habit of driving too close to cyclists.
  • The restaurant was large and pleasant.

Natural —— Artificial

  • My hair soon grew back to its natural color.
  • A job interview is a very artificial situation.

Near —— Far

Antonyms examples:

  • She told the children not to go near the canal.
  • It’s not far to the beach.

Near —— Distance

  • They moved house to be nearer the school.
  • The cottage is some distance from the road.

Neat —— Messy

  • His clothes were always neat and clean.
  • The place is so messy, I haven’t had time to clear up.

Negative —— Positive

  • My drinking was starting to have a negative effect on my work.
  • She’s got a really positive attitude to life.

Nephew —— Niece

  • His nephew told him to take a walk, get lost in the crowd.
  • As they moved towards the next tee she nodded towards her niece.

Night —— Day

Antonyms examples:

  • I didn’t sleep too well last night.
  • She only leaves her house during the day.

Noisy —— Quiet

Opposites examples:

  • The kids have been really noisy today.
  • I didn’t know anything about it so I just kept quiet.

Noisy —— Silent

  • The bar was very noisy.
  • She kept silent, forcing Buchanan to continue.

None —— Some

  • I wish I could offer you some cake but there’s none left.
  • Many local businesses are having difficulties, and some have even gone bankrupt.

Noon/ Midday —— Midnight

  • We met at 12 noon (midday).
  • We stayed there until way after midnight.

North —— South

Opposites examples:

  • Cheshunt is a few miles to the north of London.
  • Gatwick airport is a few miles to the south of London.

Notice —— Ignore

  • He noticed a woman in a black dress sitting across from him.
  • You can’t ignore the fact that many criminals never go to prison.

Now —— Then

  • Until now, doctors have been able to do very little to treat this disease.
  • They’re sending out the results next week, so we won’t know anything until then.


Opposites/Antonyms (O)

List of opposite words that start with O with examples.

Obedient —— Disobedient

  • My son is an obedient child.
  • He is a pleasant child, but often rowdy, disobedient and rough with others.

Old —— New

  • Some of the houses around here are very old.
  • They’ve just moved into their new home.

Old —— Young

Antonyms examples:

  • The old man lay propped up on cushions.
  • You’re too young to get married. young trees.

On —— Off

  • The TV’s on, but nobody seems to be watching it.
  • Will someone switch the radio off?

Open —— Shut

Opposites examples:

  • He opened the drawer of the desk.
  • Ellen shuts the window.

Opposite —— Same

  • I thought the medicine would make him sleep, but it had the opposite effect.
  • They went to the same school.

Optimistic —— Pessimistic

  • Bankers are cautiously optimistic about the country’s economic future.
  • He remains deeply pessimistic about the peace process.

Over —— Under

  • She leaned over the desk to answer the phone.
  • Wendy had hidden the box under her bed.

Opposites/Antonyms (P)

List of opposites that start with P with examples.

Part —— Whole

  • Part of the building was destroyed in the fire.
  • The whole country mourned her death.

Pass —— Fail

Antonyms examples:

  • She passed with flying colors.
  • He has failed his driving test.

Patient —— Impatient

  • You’ll just have to be patient and wait till I’m off the phone.
  • We are growing impatient with the lack of results.

Permanent —— Temporary

Opposites examples:

  • He gave up a permanent job in order to freelance.
  • You might want to consider temporary work until you decide what you want to do.

Plentiful —— Scarce

  • During the summer tomatoes are plentiful and cheap.
  • Food was often scarce in the winter.

Plural —— Singular

  • ‘Sheep’ remains the same in the plural.
  • The singular of ‘bacteria’ is ‘bacterium’.

Polite —— Rude

Opposites examples:

  • We left the party as soon as it was polite to do so.
  • I didn’t mean to be rude, but I had to leave early.

Polite —— Impolite

  • It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full.
  • It is impolite not to eat what you are served at a dinner party.

Possible —— Impossible

Antonyms examples:

  • Computer technology makes it possible for many people to work from home.
  • Members with young children often found it impossible to attend evening meetings.

Poverty —— Wealth

  • We need an effective strategy to fight poverty.
  • The purpose of industry is to create wealth.

Poverty —— Riches

  • Millions of elderly people live in poverty.
  • He was enjoying his newfound riches.

Powerful —— Weak

  • He was one of the most powerful men in Bohemia.
  • The country is in a weak position economically.

Praise —— Criticism

  • Her teacher was full of praise for her work.
  • My main criticism of the scheme is that it does nothing to help families on low incomes.

Pre —— Post

Opposites examples:

  • As usual, the government seems to have forgotten most of its preelection promises.
  • Its share price rocketed from its postcrash low.

Predator —— Prey

  • Some animals have no natural predators.
  • The lion will often stalk its prey for hours.

Pretty —— Ugly

  • She still looks pretty miserable.
  • Nick’s dog is as ugly as sin.

Private —— Public

  • There is private ownership of property in a market economy.
  • We do not believe he is fit for public office.

Prudent —— Imprudent

Antonyms examples:

  • It might be prudent to get a virus detector for the network.
  • The banks made hundreds of imprudent loans in the 1970s.

Pure —— Impure

  • Our beef patties are 100% pure.
  • Some of these drugs are highly impure.

Push —— Pull

Opposites examples:

  • I promised to push him on the swings for as long as he wanted.
  • She pulled open the door and hurried inside.

Put on —— Take off

  • He took off his uniform and put on a sweater and trousers.
  • Charlie was taking off his shirt when the phone rang.

Opposites/Antonyms (R)

List of opposite words that start with R with examples.

Rapid —— Slow

  • The patient made a rapid recovery.
  • The car was travelling at a very slow speed.

Rare —— Common

  • It is very rare for her to miss a day at school.
  • Bad dreams are fairly common among children.

Real —— Fake

  • She had never seen a real live elephant before.
  • He is a fake designer clothing.

Regular —— Irregular

Antonyms examples:

  • The company holds regular meetings with employees.
  • He’s receiving medication for an irregular heartbeat.

Relevant —— Irrelevant

  • We received all the relevant information.
  • We’re focusing too much on irrelevant details.

Rich —— Poor

  • Nobody gets rich from writing nowadays.
  • They were too poor to buy shoes for the kids.

Right —— Left

Antonyms examples:

  • He had a knife in his right hand.
  • She held out her left hand.

Right —— Wrong

  • I think you’re right. We should have set out earlier.
  • Your calculations must be wrong.

Risky —— Safe

  • Doctors say it’s too risky to try and operate.
  • I think it’s safe to say that the future is looking pretty good.

Rude —— Courteous

  • I didn’t mean to be rude, but I had to leave early.
  • The staffs are always courteous and helpful.

Opposites/Antonyms (S)

List of opposite words that start with S with examples.

Sad —— Happy

  • I was sad about the friends I was leaving behind.
  • He was a happy child who rarely cried.

Safe —— Dangerous

Opposites examples:

  • Flying is one of the safest forms of travel.
  • The business is in a dangerous financial position.

Satisfied —— Dissatisfied

  • They have plenty of satisfied customers.
  • If you are dissatisfied with this product, please return it.

Secondhand —— New

  • I know where he bought a secondhand bicycle.
  • I got a used video camera for £300 – it would have cost £1,000 if I’d bought it new.

Secure —— Insecure

Antonyms examples:

  • We want a secure future for our children.
  • She felt lonely and insecure away from her family.

Seller —— Buyer

  • They are hidden because such taxes are typically shifted by sellers to consumers through higher product prices.
  • We couldn’t find a buyer for our house, so we weren’t able to move after all.

Servant —— Master

  • His servant hastened to make all ready, build fires and heat water for the baths and prepare food.
  • Bill Ritchie is now the master of these techniques, by the learnt them originally from Lawrence.

Shout —— Whisper

  • The men on the wall lowered their weapons at her shout, and the remaining pursuer tackled her.
  • He wanted to hear her whisper his name after they made love and flutter soft kisses with her full lips across his face, the way she had the other night.

Simple —— Hard

  • Modern cameras are very simple to use.
  • You’ll have to make some hard decisions.

Single —— Married

  • The changes in tax rates will benefit single people the most.
  • Married men earn 70 percent more than single men.

Sit —— Stand

  • Why don’t you sit down and rest and I’ll bring you a piece of pie.
  • I stand there and can’t do anything!

Slave —— Master

Opposites examples:

  • These areas need developing, so entrepreneurs pump in investment: capital accumulated from the slave trade, sugar and cotton.
  • Later that evening Heathcliff’s servant Joseph arrived and asked to speak to the master.

Sleep —— Wake up

  • I usually sleep on my back.
  • James usually wakes up early.

Small —— Big

  • The Tshirt was too small for him.
  • The garage isn’t big enough for two cars.

Smart —— Stupid

Antonyms examples:

  • The smart kids get good grades and go off to college.
  • I can’t believe Kate was stupid enough to get involved in this.

Smooth —— Rough

  • Her skin felt smooth and cool.
  • Her hands were rough from hard work.

Sour —— Sweet

  • The milk’s turned sour.
  • The tea is too sweet.

Sow —— Reap

  • The fields around had been sown with wheat.
  • Several predicted that they will be rape higher yields and profits while saving the soil.

Speed up —— Slow down

  • The truck speeded up going down the hill.
  • Growth in sales has slowed down.

Spend —— Save

  • Mum never spends any money on herself.
  • He managed to save enough to buy a small house.

Start —— Finish

Opposites examples:

  • There’s so much to do I don’t know where to start.
  • You can’t go anywhere until you’ve finished your homework.

Stop —— Go

  • I was worried that the security guards would stop us at the gate.
  • Dinah went into the kitchen.

Straight —— Crooked

Antonyms examples:

  • She was looking straight at me.
  • His lips curled into a crooked smile.

Strengthen —— Weaken

  • The team has been strengthened by the arrival of two new players.
  • Changes in policy have weakened the power of the trade unions.

Stress —— Relax

  • My headaches are caused by stress.
  • A hot bath should help to relax you.

Strict —— Lenient

  • This company is very strict about punctuality.
  • School examiners say that marking has become more lenient in recent years.

Strong —— Weak

  • He picked her up in his big strong arms.
  • She’s too weak to feed herself.

Success —— Failure

Opposites examples:

  • The experiment was a big success.
  • I always felt a bit of a failure at school.

Sunny —— Cloudy

  • I hope it will be sunny tomorrow.
  • Tomorrow, it will be cloudy and cool.

Synonym —— Antonym

  • “Shut”’ is a synonym of “closed”.
  • “Old” has two possible antonyms. They are “young” and “new”.

Opposites/Antonyms (T)

List of opposite words that start with T with examples.

Tall —— Short

  • She’s a little taller than her sister.
  • He’s a bit shorter than me.

Tame —— Wild

  • The bird became so tame that it was impossible to release it back into the wild.
  • In my opinion, wild animals should not be kept in zoos.

Teach —— Learn

Antonyms examples:

  • He teaches geography at the local secondary school.
  • I learnt to drive when I was 17.

Terrible —— Wonderful

  • Their son had been injured in a terrible accident.
  • We had a wonderful time in Spain.

Thick —— Thin

  • He was wearing thick glasses.
  • She’s only wearing a thin summer jacket.

Throw —— Catch

  • He threw his shirt to someone in the crowd.
  • Stephen leapt up and caught the ball in one hand.

Tie —— Untie

  • I kept all his letters tied together with a ribbon.
  • Peter untied his shoelaces.

Tolerant —— Intolerant

Antonyms examples:

  • My parents were tolerant of my choice of music.
  • A number of patients were intolerant of the diet.

Tough —— Easy

  • The reporters were asking a lot of tough questions.
  • It would have been easy for the team to lose the game.

Tough —— Tender

  • The meat was tough and hard to chew.
  • Continue cooking until the meat is tender.

Transparent —— Opaque

  • The insect’s wings are almost transparent.
  • The windows are opaque, and the curtains you can see on the second floor are light gray.

Trap —— Release

Antonyms examples:

  • The police trapped the terrorists at a roadblock.
  • They released ten political prisoners last year.

True —— False

Opposites examples:

  • Students decide if statements are true or false.
  • Please decide whether the following statements are true or false.

Opposites/Antonyms (U)

List of opposite words that start with U with examples.

Understand —— Misunderstand

  • I could understand what the woman was saying.
  • I completely misunderstand her intentions.

Unqualified —— Qualified

  • He was unqualified for the job.
  • Dawn is well qualified for her new role.

Unsafe —— Safe

  • Many people feel unsafe walking alone at night.
  • She feels safe in the house on her own.

Up —— Down

  • We walked slowly up the hill.
  • Tears were streaming down my face.

Upstairs —— Downstairs

Antonyms examples:

  • I went upstairs and had a shower.
  • Charles was downstairs in the kitchen.

Useful —— Useless

  • A little Japanese can be really useful.
  • The doctor concluded that further treatment would be useless.

Opposites/Antonyms (V)

List of opposite words that start with V with examples.

Vacant —— Occupied

  • Only a few apartments were still vacant.
  • Only half of the rooms are occupied at the moment.

Vague —— Definite

  • The governor gave only a vague outline of his tax plan.
  • It’s impossible for me to give you a definite answer.

Vanish —— Appear

Antonyms examples:

  • Public support for the prime minister has now vanished.
  • She didn’t appear at all surprised at the news.

Vast —— Tiny

  • The government will have to borrow vast amounts of money.
  • She always felt a tiny bit sad.

Vertical —— Horizontal

  • There was a vertical drop to the ocean.
  • I was so tired, I just wanted to be horizontal.

Victory —— Defeat

  • She is confident of victory in Saturday’s final.
  • The world champion has only had two defeats in 20 fights.

Virtue —— Vice

Antonyms examples:

  • Among her many virtues are loyalty, courage, and truthfulness.
  • Jealousy is a vice.

Visible —— Invisible

  • The outline of the mountains was clearly visible.
  • The house was surrounded by trees, and invisible from the road.

Opposites/Antonyms (W)

List of opposite words that start with W-Y with examples.

War —— Peace

  • No one wants to start a trade war here.
  • The country is at peace with its neighbors for the first time in years.

Wide —— Narrow

  • The boat was nearly as wide as the canal.
  • This is a long narrow road.

Win —— Lose

Antonyms examples:

  • I think you will win the next election.
  • They played so badly they deserved to lose.

Within —— Outside

  • Prisoners who died were buried within the walls of the prison.
  • It’s outside my experience, I’m afraid.

Yes —— No

  • “Would you like a sandwich?”
  • Yes, please.”
  • “Could you help me write this?”
  • No, sorry, I haven’t got time at the moment.”