What are Antonyms? How to Find Antonyms in Sentences? | ORCHIDS
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Concept: Find the pair of Antonyms


  • Antonyms are words that are opposite in meaning. It refers to a word that is totally different from the other.
  • Antonyms help to describe things better.


Word Antonym
1. Light Nature-1 Heavy Nature-1
2. Day Nature-1 Night
3. Nature-1

What are Antonyms?

  1. An antonym can change the meaning of a sentence or a word. Notice in the sentence given below a pair of antonyms, happy and sad, have been used. It has changed the sentences through the emotions mentioned.
  2. Nature-1


    I thought on hearing the joke, she was happy; however, she became sad after watching the movie.

  3. A word may have more than one antonym, which means there can be many words that can be opposites to one word.
  4. Example:

    The following are antonyms of the word ‘good’: bad, evil, wicked, and horrible.

    The word ‘good’ can be a noun or an adjective; thus, its antonyms are a combination of adjectives and nouns.

How are Antonyms Formed?

  1. Antonyms are also formed by adding a prefix to a word. These prefixes include ‘mis, dis, un, im, in’.
  2. Examples:

    Word Antonym
    able unable
    likely unlikely
    decent indecent
    honest dishonest
    moral immoral
    possible impossible
    lead mislead
    understand misunderstand

  3. Antonyms are also formed by ending a word with a suffix. The adjectives that end with the suffix – ‘ful’ are replaced by the suffix – ‘less’ to make an antonym.
  4. Examples:

    Word Antonym
    useful useless
    hopeful hopeless
    painful painless
    harmful harmless
    shameful shameless
    thankful thankless
    careful careless

How do you Find Antonyms in a Sentence?

Check for signal words as they are clues that can help to identify antonyms. These words are ‘not’, ‘but’, ‘unlike’, ‘yet’, ‘different from’, ‘however’, ‘even though’, ‘although’, ‘opposed to’, and ‘in contrast’.

Observe these signal words in the examples given below and look at how these words can be used with antonyms.


  1. Although Ranbir should be asleep, he is awake.
  2. If you throw the packet, I can catch it.
  3. Kiran was a coward, but his sister was brave.
  4. My baby brother was tired in the morning but energetic at night.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Do not confuse synonyms with antonyms.
    • Synonyms are words that mean exactly or almost the same as another word.
    • Antonyms are words that mean exactly the opposite of that word.

  2. Not knowing the meaning of the word If you have a rough idea of what the word means, then you can guess what its antonym or opposite word could be. Unless you know the meaning, you will find it difficult to guess its opposite pair.
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