Antonym is a linguistic counter-word, also an opposition word. Accordingly, the antonym means a word whose meaning is the absolute antithesis, that is, the exact opposite of another word. In the literature, Antonyms are used mainly in paradoxa, oxymora or antithesis. However, there is not a corresponding antonym for each term. Not to be confused are antonyms with counterparts. The counterpart is a counterpart, that is, something which, while the content is the same, is assigned to a different domain or (cultural) space.
The term can be derived from the Greek and consists of the preposition anti (αντί) for against and the noun ónoma (ὄνομα) for names. As a result, the word can be translated as a counter-name and thus points to its own meaning: it is a word which stands opposite to another content. Word and counter word form a contrasting pair. Here are some examples:
Note: All the antonyms of the above example table can be interchanged. According to this, not only is the antonym of cold, but also cold, the antonym is hot. Further examples of antonyms adjectives and nouns can be found in the Contrasts.
Formation of Antonyms
Numerous arguments can be made with the prefix. Consequently, becomes clear from unclear as well as from compliantly unyielding. Nevertheless, there are no clear rules on how to form the opposite of a word, although the addition of the above-mentioned prefix seems appropriate in many cases.
However, no liability can be derived from this. For the opposite of heat is cold and not unhealthy, although the anonym can not be derived unfairly from the adjective. Furthermore, there are words which, although with the prefix, exist but do not express the opposite.
For example, courage and cowardice might form a contrasting pair. The displeasure, however, means something quite different, even if it exists in the vocabulary of the German. A sense of dissatisfaction is described as resentment and not the fear of a danger, as cowardice expresses it.
From this it can be inferred that although the prefix is often used for the formation of the Antonius, it is by no means binding, and the fact that the formation of the opposite of a word can not be applied to other pairs of opposites. For example, overpassing and underpassing in relation to transport are antonyms. However, transition and destruction have nothing to do with one another.
There are terms that do not need a second word to express the opposite. They themselves stand for what is meant, and equally for the opposite. Such a word is called an auto-antonym, but also a Janus word and an antagonist. Some examples:
We want to cover the roof tomorrow.
In the above example, the verb cover is used. The term, however, has two meanings, so the above sentence could be misunderstood. On the one hand, it means covering something that is covered by a thing that is covered. For example, you could cover a table. On the other hand, the word means that a thing is covered. Thus a hole could be covered with boards. Should the bricks of the roof be put down or something for protection?
Accordingly, the word can form its own opposite, at least in the widest sense. In such a case one speaks of an auto-antonym or Januswort. Janus words are therefore antonym (having an opposite meaning) and also homonymous (equality). Another example:
I play with the idea of expanding the shelf.
This example could also be misunderstood. On the one hand, the verb means expanding a thing is expanded. Therefore, if you expand your own attic, you are likely to expand your living space. On the other hand, the word can also mean that an object is removed. The words remove and expand the content are in contrast and are nevertheless united in the word – a car antonym, which is alike and yet can have opposite meanings.
Accordingly, the meaning of such Janus words must be developed from the context or the experience of the speaker. This is the only way to reveal what is actually meant. Other examples, which remain uncommented, are the following words: War opponents, stop, cancel, bypass, overlook, say goodbye.