Home >  Words and Wordplay >  Autoantonyms


An autoantonym is a word which has two meanings which are opposites of each other.

It may have several other meanings - only the two contradictory meanings are significant and give an autoantonym its curious "Humpty-Dumpty" quality.

The word CLEAVE - meaning either 'to split asunder' or 'to join together' - is a perfect example of an autoantonym.

Other autoantonymous words are:

CHUFFED pleased, delighted displeased, disgruntled
DUST remove dust sprinkle with dust
INFLAMMABLE flammable not flammable
INHABITABLE habitable not habitable
INSCIENT ignorant having secret or inward knowledge
LEFT remaining gone away
LET to permit to hinder, to prevent
OVERLOOK ignore inspect
PINK a light red color a greenish-yellow pigment
PRESENTLY now later
QUITE completely, absolutely to a partial extent, somewhat
ROCK a sure foundation, anything immovable a swaying or tilting movement
SANCTION authorization, aid or encouragement coercive measure intended to discourage
SCREEN to conceal from view to display ( a film etc.)
TRIP to move lightly and nimbly to stumble
VAPULATE to flog to be flogged

Bookmark Thinks.com at Del.icio.us! Digg Thinks.com at Digg.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at Google.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at stumbleupon! Bookmark Thinks.com at Spurl.net! Bookmark Thinks.com at Simpy.com! Blink this Thinks.com at blinklist.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at Furl.net! Bookmark Thinks.com at reddit.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at Fark.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at blogmarks! Bookmark Thinks.com at YahooMyWeb! Bookmark Thinks.com at Ma.gnolia.com! Bookmark Thinks.com at Netvouz!

Demand Media