Definition of antithesis in English:

antithesis

noun

  • 1A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else.

    ‘love is the antithesis of selfishness’
    • ‘If the major parties manage to get their heads round the concepts, we could see the exact antithesis of The Big Conversation.’
    • ‘This is the love that is the antithesis of control.’
    • ‘That is the converse of and the antithesis of the circumstances which exist here.’
    • ‘Everything has its antithesis - nothing can exist without its opposite.’
    • ‘Yet Edward always saw reconciliation in the form of its antithesis or opposite.’
    • ‘That selfish behavior is the antithesis of what ‘good’ Christians are taught.’
    • ‘Since stagnation is the antithesis of growth, it is also the antithesis of life.’
    • ‘As the world knows, terrorism is the antithesis of love.’
    • ‘This is not an easy case to argue in societies like ours, where a kind of narcissistic individualism is continually on display, creating a selfish cult of celebrity that is the antithesis of the values I'm advocating.’
    • ‘So any attempt to ignore the truth or deliberately not look in the direction where it obviously resides is the antithesis of what intelligence is about.’
    • ‘Every theory, she says, has an antithesis - a theory that is in some way its direct opposite.’
    • ‘The Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the 1980s was the direct antithesis of the Flyers.’
    • ‘That is the antithesis of what private equity is set up to do.’
    • ‘But simply put, he is a huckster, the antithesis of the anti-politician, and someone with limited green credentials, to say the least.’
    • ‘Fixed identities rooted in the past represent the antithesis of historical thinking.’
    • ‘The antithesis of light and day, or the opposite.’
    • ‘Again, one could infer that it is the direct antithesis to works.’
    • ‘This provokes an opposing viewpoint, the antithesis.’
    • ‘As time passes, what is new becomes old, and meanings change (the antithesis of the ‘timeless past’ beloved of many travel writers).’
    • ‘For the past 10 years it has been an antithesis of what is visualised in the education clause of the Freedom Charter.’
    opposite, direct opposite, converse, reverse, reversal, inverse, obverse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A contrast or opposition between two things.
      ‘the antithesis between occult and rational mentalities’
      • ‘This antithesis of two different worlds truly serves as a classification of groups, i.e., insiders and outsiders.’
      • ‘I fail to see any antithesis between deconstruction and construction.’
      • ‘The two halves of the work therefore corresponded to his antithesis between faith and understanding.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact no antithesis exists between deduction and induction.’
      • ‘In setting up this notion of love as transcending law, the author is engaging in a false antithesis, for true love will not seek anything that is in opposition to the law of God.’
      • ‘Not only was the antithesis between the finite and the eternal, the human and the divine, treated by him as ontologically fundamental; in the final analysis it also governed the picture he drew of human nature and its basic orientation.’
      • ‘This insistence upon a gendered dualism of sexual desire maps homosexuality onto an assumed antithesis of masculinity and femininity.’
      • ‘So that modern monopoly is not a simple antithesis, it is on the contrary the true synthesis.’
      • ‘There was no necessary antithesis between oral and literate forms of communication and preservation; the one did not have to destroy or undermine the other.’
      • ‘For these reasons I would like to begin by discussing the antithesis between Eve and the church.’
      • ‘The antithesis he relied upon is between at the one extreme, vague ideas, pipedreams and perhaps a little more specifically, a concrete ‘wish list’ and, at the other, a working embodiment for a proposal.’
      • ‘Smith and Carlos say different: there is no necessary antithesis between athleticism and broader awareness.’
      • ‘This opposition provides the most convincing rationale for his famous antithesis between bureaucracy and charisma.’
      • ‘Now, your Honours, the antithesis between the two approaches can be seen very clearly from a comparison of three short passages in the judgments.’
      • ‘The new antithesis forms out of elements of the original contradiction that didn't make it into the synthesis.’
      • ‘This season that means we are talking about contrasts and antitheses, wide skirts and narrow waists, silk and tweed, short skirts and high boots.’
      • ‘The antithesis creates balance but also invites the reader to weigh the scales.’
      • ‘For Luther, the main antithesis is not between philosophy and theology; it is between good theology and bad theology, according to Gerhard Ebeling.’
      contrast, opposition
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun A rhetorical or literary device in which an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed.
      ‘figures of speech such as antithesis’
      count noun ‘his sermons were full of startling antitheses’
      • ‘This extravagant praise, moreover, takes the form of far-fetched metaphors, antitheses, hyperboles, superlatives, elaborate syntax, etc.’
      • ‘He uses puns, paradoxes, antitheses, parallels, and various rhetorical and literary devices to construct expressions that have meanings beyond the obvious.’
      • ‘An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.’
      • ‘The confluence in Browne's prefatory remarks of the topics of antiquarianism and medicine, and the rhetorical antitheses old-new and arising-burial is predictable in antiquarian discourse, where the gifted amateur reigned supreme.’
      • ‘Othello's account of the origins of the handkerchief, another example of this discoursal antithesis, combines, in a contrastive fugal pattern, domestic detail and the mystical sublime of an empowering love.’
  • 2mass noun (in Hegelian philosophy) the negation of the thesis as the second stage in the process of dialectical reasoning.

    Compare with synthesis
    • ‘Often the synthesis, though adequately reconciling the previous thesis and antithesis, will turn out to be one-sided in some other respect.’
    • ‘Then, by weighing arguments and applying rules of logic, the thesis and antithesis are united into a synthesis.’
    • ‘It is also to be noted that the dialectical process is not simply from thesis and antithesis to final synthesis; it is an eternal, open-ended spiral of development.’
    • ‘Okay, there's the thesis and antithesis, where's the synthesis?’
    • ‘The revelation of this mystical wholeness occurs through the dialectic: a thesis is manifest and contested by its antithesis, the resolution of which, leads to a new thesis and so on.’

Origin

Late Middle English (originally denoting the substitution of one grammatical case for another): from late Latin, from Greek antitithenai ‘set against’, from anti ‘against’ + tithenai ‘to place’. The earliest current sense, denoting a rhetorical or literary device, dates from the early 16th century.

Pronunciation

antithesis

/anˈtɪθəsɪs/