Definition of opposite in English:



  • 1[attributive] Situated on the other or further side when seen from a specified or implicit viewpoint; facing.

    ‘a crowd gathered on the opposite side of the street’
    • ‘Then I saw, on the opposite side of the road, a young guy.’
    • ‘For the first time in longer than I can remember, I thought of nothing but the petite girl standing on the opposite side of the glass.’
    • ‘Speakers on the opposite wall emitted applause that grew to a crescendo and diminished.’
    • ‘One stone approximately a foot in width and length and half a foot in height was thrown to the opposite side of the road around 20 metres away.’
    • ‘Spirit's twin should land on the opposite side of Mars on January 24.’
    • ‘But this was soon tempered as I walked through the tunnel leading from the entrance of the mountain to its opposite side.’
    • ‘Daniel ran away with a friend down the opposite side of the hill.’
    • ‘They are of course quite unrelated, but it's interesting to note such similarities in species on opposite sides of the planet.’
    • ‘Spirit touched down on January 4 and its twin, Opportunity, landed on the opposite side of Mars on January 25.’
    • ‘But the intense firepower from the opposite side kept me hiding in the trench most of the time, which was quite shameful.’
    • ‘When they tried the opposite side of the court by serving down to CJ they found him in excellent form and he brilliantly returned everything.’
    • ‘I could tell you about the cab which, ordered by phone, announced its arrival by loud horn blasts from the opposite side of the street.’
    • ‘The police admit that on such roads there is a tendency among drivers to speed since there are no vehicles approaching from the opposite side.’
    • ‘The trees can be clearly seen from both sides of the river and are situated opposite Asgill House.’
    • ‘I always fished from the opposite side of the hole because about nine inches below its edge, at water level, a wide flat rock jutted out.’
    • ‘No, you can't play on the opposite side of the instrument.’
    • ‘Thankfully, Fiona works on the opposite side of Manhattan.’
    • ‘Up on the opposite side of the road, hiding in the tall grass of the ditch, was a little orange and white striped kitten, peeking out.’
    • ‘The running mates are running on opposite sides of the country.’
    • ‘But as a bonus, while I pumped gas, a man in a Subaru Outback drove up to the opposite side of the pump and jumped out.’
    facing, opposing
    facing, face to face with, across from
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of angles) between opposite sides of the intersection of two lines.
      • ‘The first step is to show that if a line N meets two parallel lines L and M, then opposite angles are equal.’
    2. 1.2Botany (of leaves or shoots) arising in pairs at the same level on opposite sides of the stem.
      • ‘Lachenalias in general are small fleshy bulbs with two upright, opposite leaves.’
      • ‘The opposite leaf of each node was used for hydraulic experiments.’
      • ‘The corresponding opposite leaf received only radiation of selected wavelengths.’
      • ‘They were harvested in pairs because the plants produce a pair of primary, opposite leaves at each node.’
      • ‘Leaves are opposite and leaf blades are ovate with many teeth.’
  • 2Completely different; of a contrary kind.

    ‘a word that is opposite in meaning to another’
    ‘currents flowing in opposite directions’
    • ‘On each occasion, we try hard to stare in opposite directions.’
    • ‘They exit the house and run at break-neck speed, in opposite directions, around the block.’
    • ‘It's really fascinating to watch these trains move in opposite directions at very high speed.’
    • ‘At one point the female caught me watching them and then everyone took off in opposite directions.’
    • ‘On closer inspection, he saw that three different sets of prints trailed off in three opposite directions.’
    • ‘This could best be achieved by making the track two lanes, each heading in opposite directions.’
    • ‘Prominent Turks and Americans have been traveling this week in essentially opposite directions.’
    • ‘Before the match, Andy Irvine had pointed to the flags which were blowing in opposite directions at either end of the ground.’
    • ‘On the fretless guitar this means that I can glissando in opposite directions on different strings.’
    • ‘This is good because it means trains heading in opposite directions won't in future have to wait for one another.’
    • ‘Both times we have exchanged hurried salutations, since we've been going in opposite directions.’
    • ‘There is a locomotive at each end of the train, but they are pulling in opposite directions.’
    • ‘He hailed another auto and we went off in opposite directions.’
    • ‘Essentially, the news media will go in two, seemingly opposite directions.’
    • ‘The two of them sauntered off in opposite directions, as if aimlessly.’
    • ‘Moments later, the two made off with the stolen money in opposite directions, one of them reportedly headed for the Morne Du Don area.’
    • ‘With that, they both scurried off in opposite directions.’
    • ‘These two pictures where taken only a few seconds apart but in opposite directions.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, two motorcycles with sidecars drive in opposite directions.’
    • ‘She turned away, got back in the van and they all drove away, I assume in opposite directions.’
    conflicting, contrasting, incompatible, irreconcilable, inconsistent, antithetical, converse, contradictory, clashing, contrary, at variance, at odds, different, differing, divergent, dissimilar, unlike, unalike, disagreeing, opposed, opposing, poles apart, polar, obverse
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[attributive]Being the other of a contrasted pair.
      ‘the opposite ends of the price range’
      • ‘By contrast, Mouchiroud, Gautier, and Bernardi found the opposite tendency.’
      • ‘As they grow up amid the emerging wave of nationalist fervor, their friendship becomes strained as they find themselves on opposite sides.’
      • ‘In contrast, the introduction of a positive charge had the opposite effect.’
      • ‘Some of us had been on opposite sides in the recent campaign.’
      • ‘The Moran brothers, Ollie and Niall, will be on opposite sides and could find themselves marking each other in midfield.’
      • ‘By contrast, the Act goes to the opposite extreme and really tells us very little about what will happen if the association cannot meet its debts.’
      • ‘Campaigners on opposite sides of the Nice Treaty debate conflicted yesterday over how the outcome of the Referendum will affect the economy.’
      • ‘Two congressmen on opposite sides of the debate will join me.’
      • ‘It gives a detailed insight into the troubled times in the early part of the 1920s when members of some families took opposite sides in the Civil War.’
      • ‘Two leading scientists on opposite sides of the debate join us.’


  • A person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else.

    ‘we were opposites in temperament’
    ‘the literal is the opposite of the figurative’
    • ‘Also, here, desire and transgression are articulated through a systematic presentation of opposites.’
    • ‘Some currency pairs move in tandem with each other, while others may be polar opposites.’
    • ‘Although they have been portrayed as opposites, in reality they amount to the same thing.’
    • ‘It is said that opposites attract, but apparently not when it comes to friendship.’
    • ‘It's a cliché, but also a truism, that love and hate are not opposites but, rather, intimately entwined.’
    • ‘But at the same time they are so different that you might well think of them as opposites.’
    • ‘They were polar opposites and yet awesome friends and that was my favorite part about them.’
    • ‘In the spiritual world it is utterly impossible to bring two opposites together.’
    • ‘These different faiths are not to be regarded as opposites or contradictories.’
    • ‘Indeed, it's those co-existing opposites that underpin the whole movie.’
    • ‘His central tenet is that equality and prosperity are opposites.’
    • ‘It is commonly held that opposites attract, and these two are no exception.’
    • ‘Some scholars have identified Jabir's sulphur and mercury with the Aristotelian opposites fire and water.’
    • ‘It also seems to have been, at least in some respects, an attraction of opposites.’
    • ‘Neither of them ever believed their elders when they said that opposites attract.’
    • ‘It is wrong to view the public and private sectors as polar opposites that are always in competition.’
    • ‘An integration of inner and outer duality is possible now to create a unity or mystical union of opposites.’
    • ‘A term equally applicable to extreme opposites such as those I have cited cannot tell us anything consequential.’
    • ‘But it's soon obvious the two are polar opposites with absolutely nothing in common.’
    • ‘He described consciousness and reality as a unity of opposites in which the material is fundamental.’
    reverse, converse, antithesis, contrary, inverse, obverse, contradiction
    the other extreme, the other side of the coin
    per contra
    flip side
    antipode, antipodes
    View synonyms


  • In a position facing a specified or implied subject.

    ‘she was sitting almost opposite’
    ‘he went into the shop opposite’


  • 1In a position on the other side of a specific area from; facing.

    ‘they sat opposite one another’
    • ‘On the other side, the one opposite the entrance gate, the bulk of the home supporters gather.’
    • ‘It will be moved to a position almost directly opposite the present one, but it will be much better and safer.’
    • ‘He ended up being in exactly the same position as the man opposite him.’
    • ‘The garden area was beautifully presented as was the small landscaped area opposite the school.’
    • ‘Cricklade parents are unhappy with plans to build sheltered flats on a green space and play area opposite the town's junior school.’
    • ‘But the area opposite the rail station exit is only the tip of the iceberg.’
    • ‘Marvin was sitting opposite me on the other side of the fire.’
    • ‘The most typical manifestations include sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg, and altered sensation or numbness, on the side of the body opposite the stroke.’
    • ‘He was awake, and leaning over the side of his bed, opposite the side I was sitting on.’
    • ‘So I reached the area just opposite the basketball courts for Roebuck High School now called Louis Lynch secondary.’
    • ‘Down a side street, opposite the bus stop a shouting man is sitting on a square of wood, bouncing up and down in an unsuccessful attempt to snap it.’
    • ‘North is classically defined as the cardinal point opposite the sun's position at noon.’
    • ‘She sits down opposite the side of the table that he sat down at.’
    • ‘The new play area located opposite the Town Hall was open to the public on Saturday afternoon.’
    • ‘He painted them with big brushes, on giant canvases, working in high positions opposite the peaks he captures.’
    • ‘Tape the left side collar piece over the reversed pattern, positioning it opposite the previous collar half.’
    • ‘The new crossing will be positioned opposite the recently constructed paved area at the top of Finkle Street giving more room for pedestrians waiting to cross the road.’
    • ‘When Paul Cook was in hospital he was sitting opposite a biker who had been involved in an accident.’
    • ‘During the past couple of weeks work has begun on the dangerous stretch of road on the north side of town opposite the Post Office.’
    • ‘We were then asked to perform, so we took our positions in the large, empty area opposite the table.’
  • 2(of a leading actor) in a complementary role to (another)

    ‘the star was a young man playing opposite an older woman’
    • ‘After that she will star opposite Scottish actor Ken Stott in the detective drama Messiah.’
    • ‘Playing opposite her in the role of Gianetta was Rhiannon, who joined the club three and a half years ago, after a friend recommended it.’
    • ‘Ever since he came into public consciousness for his role in Minority Report opposite Tom Cruise, he's proven to be a force to be reckoned with.’
    • ‘Macfadyen had agreed to star in Middletown last year but then was offered the role as Darcy opposite Hollywood star Knightley.’
    • ‘Playing opposite the Irish actor Pierce Brosnan would undoubtedly be her biggest role yet.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin oppositus, past participle of opponere set against.