One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
What do you call a word with two opposing meanings?
A word with two opposite meanings is sometimes described as a contronym: the verb cleave is usually given as the classic example of such a word (it means both 'split or divide' and also 'adhere or stick fast'). However, the term contronym doesn't seem to be very widespread and we have very little evidence of its genuine use.
Take our contronym quiz on the OxfordWords blog.
See other Vocabulary Questions.
Take a look at: What is the term for a phrase combining two words that mean the opposite of each other?
Or you may be interested in: What is the term for a word which is another word spelled backwords?
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.