ANTONYMS or OPPOSITES
What is an antonym?An antonym is a word that is opposite in meaning to another word.
For example, ‘cold’ is the antonym of ‘hot’.
The list of antonyms below, with an example of use,
will help English learners improve their vocabulary.
(a) = adjective (prep) = preposition (v) = verb
|above (prep)||below (prep)||The cups are on the
shelf above the sink.
The washing-up liquid is below the sink.
|absent (a)||present (a)||Arthur is not here
today. He's absent.
The teacher will be present at the graduation ceremony.
|accept (v)||refuse (v)||The customer accepts/refuses the conditions.|
|accidental (a)||intentional (a)||He didn't intend
to break the window. It was accidental.
He wanted to break the window. It was intentional.
|add (v)||subtract (v)||An amount of tax must be
added to the bill.
A mistaken amount was substracted from the bill.
|admit (v)||deny (v)||Bobby said he stole the
ball. He admitted it.
Sam said he didn't steal the ball. He denied it.
|affirmative (a)||negative (a)||I got the job! The
reply was affirmative.
I'm disappointed. I received a negative reply.
|after (prep)||before (prep)||My guitar lesson is
after lunch, at 2 pm.
The tennis match is before lunch, at 11 am.
|alive (a)||dead (a)||The man was alive/dead when the doctor arrived.|
|allow (v)||forbid (v)||Food is allowed but smoking is forbidden.|
The journey will take approximately
The journey will take exactly 48 minutes and 30 seconds.
|arrive (v)||depart (v)||The train departs at 10.15 am and arrives at 2 pm.|
|attack (v)||defend (v)||
Enemy forces attacked the
Our troups defended it.
|awake (a)||asleep (a)||I can hear noise. The baby is awake.
There is no noise. The baby is still asleep.
|bad (a)||good (a)||
Pedro is a bad student. He
must work harder.
José got good results in English. He is very pleased.
|beautiful (a)||ugly (a)||
The actress is very beautiful.
The wound left an ugly scar on the man's face.
|before (prep)||after (prep)||
The tennis match is before lunch,
at 11 am.
My guitar lesson is after lunch, at 2 pm.
|begin (v)||end (v)||The film begins at 7 pm and ends at 8.30 pm.|
|below (prep)||above (prep)||
The bookshelves are above the
The dvds are below it.
|big (a)||small (a)||My boss drives a big car but my car is small.|
|bitter (a)||sweet (a)||We had a choice between sweet tea or bitter wine.|
|brave (a)||cowardly (a)||
You were very brave to defend the group.
A cowardly person runs away when faced with danger.
|cheap (a)||expensive (a)||This shop sells cheap/expensive clothes.|
|clean (a)||dirty (a)||When our parents returned the house was clean/dirty.|
|cold (a)||hot (a)||
We need to heat the soup because it's
Be careful! The plate is very hot.
|come (v)||go (v)||Visitors to the museum come and go all day|
|complicated (a)||simple (a)||
Some legal terms can be
complicated and difficult to understand.
The terms of the agreement were simple and clear.
|cool (a)||warm (a)||
In autumn you should bring clothes for cool
In spring the weather is often warm.
|correct (a)||incorrect (a)||His answer was correct/incorrect.|
|cowardly (a)||brave (a)||
You were very brave to defend the group.
It was cowardly of you to run away.
|curly (a)||straight (a)||Her hair is curly/straight.|
|damage (v)||repair (v)||If you damage anything you will have to repair it.|
|dangerous (a)||safe (a)||Be careful. The
building is in a very
Don' worry. We live in a safe part of the city.
|dark (a)||light (a)||What colour is your car? It's dark/light blue.|
|depart (v)||arrive (v)||The train departs at 10.15 am and arrives at 2 pm|
|despair (v)||hope (v)||
There is no work here. Tom despairs
of finding a job.
Andy has graduated and hopes to find a job soon.
|different (a)||similar (a)||All the houses are
different. None of them
The houses are all similar to each other. They are alike.
|difficult (a)||easy (a)||The English test was quite difficult/easy.|
|early (a)||late (a)||Jack had to leave at 6
am so he had an
I didn't have to work so I had a late breakfast.
|false (a)||true (a)||Some details were false but the main story was true.|
|fat (a)||thin||The shopkeeper is
overweight. He's quite
His wife is the opposite. She's very thin.
|find (v)||lose (v)||You try to find something when you lose it.|
|follow (v)||lead (v)||The teacher leads the group and the children follow her.|
|forbid (v)||allow (v)||Food is allowed but smoking is forbidden.|
|forget (v)||remember (v)||I'm losing my memory. I
often forget things.
I've got a good memory. I remember names easily.
|freeze (v)||melt (v)||You freeze
food in the freezer.
Ice-cream will melt in the sun.
|full (a)||empty (a)||This bottle of milk is empty. The one in the fridge is full.|
|gentle (a)||violent (a)||They walked along the
beach enjoying the gentle
A violent storm broke out in the evening.
|good (a)||bad (a)||José got good
results in English. He is very pleased.
Pedro is a bad student. He must work harder.
|happy (a)||sad (a)||Jimmy was sad leaving New York,
but he was happy
to see his family again.
|hard (a)||soft (a)||He slept in a hard bed but the pillow was soft.|
|hardworking (a)||lazy (a)||
Joe works well.
His colleagues say he is
Mike does as little as possible. He's lazy.
|heavy (a)||light (a)||My
suitcase is very heavy. I
can't lift it.
My suitcase is very light. I can carry it.
|hope (v)||despair (a)||
Andy has graduated and hopes to
find a job soon.
There is no work here. Tom despairs of finding a job.
|hot||cold||Be careful! The plate is
We need to heat the soup because it's cold.
|intelligent (a)||stupid (a)||Intelligent
people understand quickly.
Stupid people are slow to understand things.
|interesting (a)||boring (a)||Tom found the
conference quite interesting.
Alex left before the end because he found it boring.
|long (a)||short (a)||
The bride wore a long dress.
Her mother's dress was short .
|married (a)||single (a)||My sister is married but my brother is still single.|
|modern (a)||traditional (a)||Her dress was modern but the ceremony was traditional.|
|negative (a)||affirmative (a)||I'm disappointed. I received a
I got the job! The reply was affirmative.
|new (a)||old (a)||The television set is old. We're going to buy a new one.|
|noisy (a)||quiet (a)||The boys are too noisy. Tell them to be quiet!|
|polite (a)||impolite (a)||The children are impolite. They should learn to be polite.|
|poor (a)||rich (a)||Rich
people can buy what they want.
Poor people have to be careful with their money.
|proper (a)||improper (a)||For the interview
wear a proper dress, not jeans!
The boy was punished for behaving in an improper way.
|quiet (a)||noisy (a)||We live in a quiet area. It's not noisy at all.|
|remember (v)||forget (v)||I've got a good memory. I remember names
I'm losing my memory. I often forget things.
|right (a)||wrong (a)||We took the
right road and arrived on
The others went the wrong way and got lost.
|safe (a)||dangerous (a)||The children can play
here. It's a safe place.
Don't play near the road. It's too dangerous.
|short (a)||long (a)||The bride wore a long dress but her mother wore a short one.|
|shout (v)||whisper (v)||The policeman
shouted a warning.
People whisper at the cinema so as not to disturb others.
|similar (a)||different (a)||The houses are all similar to
each other. They are alike.
All the houses are different. None of them are similar.
|simple (a)||complicated (a)||
The terms of
the agreement were
Some legal terms can be complicated and difficult to understand.
|single (a)||married (a)||My brother is still single but my sister is married.|
|small (a)||big (a)||This bag is too small. We need a big bag to go shopping.|
|soft (a)||hard (a)||She likes a soft pillow but prefers a hard mattress.|
|traditional (a)||modern (a)||The ceremony was traditional but her dress was modern.|
|true (a)||false (a)||The story was true but some of the details were false.|
|well||unwell / ill||My grandfather is in
good health. He's well.
My grandmother has the 'flu. She's unwell at the moment.
|whisper (v)||shout (v)||People whisper
at the cinema so as not to disturb
The policeman shouted a warning.
|wrong (a)||right (a)||He didn't understand me
because I used the wrong word.
I used a dictionary to find the right word.