One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
What is the opposite of...?
What is the opposite of 'nocturnal'?
Nocturnal means 'done, occurring, or active at night'. Its opposite is diurnal, though this term is not as common. There is also a zoological term to describe animals that are active in twilight: they are known as crepuscular.
What is the opposite of 'hibernation'?
The word aestivation is roughly opposite in meaning, but it isn't in general use and it doesn't refer to mammals. It's a specialist zoological term referring to the prolonged dormancy of an insect, fish, or amphibian during a hot (or dry) period.
What is the opposite of 'juvenilia'?
Juvenilia are the works produced by an author or artist while they were young: the term comes from Latin juvenilis 'young'. It would seem logical that work produced during old age should be classed as senilia (from Latin senilis 'old') but as yet no such word exists in English.
What is the opposite of 'exceed'?
There is no established opposite to the word exceed, and it's quite often suggested that there's a gap in the language that needs to be filled! Some people have come up with deceed as a possible candidate, but there is as yet no real evidence of its use.
What is the opposite of 'uxorious'?
Uxorious is an adjective meaning 'very or excessively fond of your wife', e.g.: he was an almost perfect husband: uxorious, hard-working, and a good provider. It comes from the Latin uxor 'wife'.
There's no word in common use that can be used to describe a wife who is similarly fond of her husband. The only candidate is the invented word maritorious, from the Latin word for a husband, maritus. But it's extremely rare: the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary has only two examples, one from 1607 and one from 1978.
See other Vocabulary Questions.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.