Grammar: Synonym versus Antonym

Posted February 1, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Grammar Explanations, Self-Editing, Writing

One of the reasons that English is such a rich language is the plethora of words that mean essentially the same thing: the synonym. And, while the antonym is the opposite of a synonym, it does have its own collection of synonyms.

You might want to explore the post on “Cute, English is Such a Rich, Rich Language…and So” with its in-depth exploration of cute with its synonyms and the minute changes the different choices create in the meaning of a sentence.

In the synonym–antonym examples below, imagine how each word would affect the sentence or how the sentence itself could change its meaning.

Grammar Explanations is…

…an evolving list of the structural rules and principles that determines where words are placed in phrases or sentences as well as how the language is spoken. Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if it makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone… Are there areas of grammar with which you struggle? If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page and consider sharing this Grammar Explanation with friends by tweeting it.

Synonym versus Antonym
Part of Speech: Adjective, adverb, noun, preposition, verb
Definition: A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language AND both words belong to the same part of speech: an adjective for an adjective, a verb for a verb, etc.

An antonym is its opposite.

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Synonym Definition: A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language.

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Word Synonyms
beautiful gorgeous
pretty
handsome
good-looking
alluring
prepossessing
lovely
charming
aesthetic
stunning
arresting
glamorous
bewitching
beguiling
graceful
elegant
exquisite
artistic
decorative
delightful
appealing
engaging
winsome
ravishing
magnificent
buy Noun
purchase
investment
acquisition
gain
deal
value
bargain
Verb
purchase
acquire
obtain
get
pick up
take
procure
pay for
invest in
informal get hold of
snatch up
snap up
grab
score
hot heated
piping hot
sizzling
steaming
roasting
boiling (hot)
searing
scorching
scalding
burning
red-hot
very warm
balmy
summery
tropical
scorching
broiling
searing
blistering
sweltering
torrid
sultry
humid
muggy
close
boiling
baking
roasting
feverish
fevered
febrile
burning
flushed
sweaty
pyretic
spicy
spiced
highly seasoned
peppery
fiery
strong
piquant
pungent
aromatic
zesty
fierce
intense
keen
competitive
cutthroat
dog-eat-dog
ruthless
aggressive
strong
new
fresh
recent
late
up to date
up-to-the-minute
just out
hot off the press(es)
real-time
popular
in demand
sought-after
in favor
fashionable
in vogue
all the rage
big
in
now
hip
trendy
cool
styling
stylin’
good-looking
sexy
attractive
gorgeous
handsome
beautiful
comely
fair
stolen
illegally obtained
purloined
pilfered
illegal
illicit
unlawful
smuggled
fenced
bootleg
contraband
aroused
sexually aroused
excited
stimulated
titillated
inflamed
turned on
hot to trot
here at this place
in this place
at this place
in this place
at this location
in this location
present
in attendance
attending
at hand
available
to this place
to this spot
to this location
over here
nearer
closer
hither
now
at this moment
at this point
at this point in time
at this juncture
at this stage
up on upon
Symbolic Synonym Definition: A noun, it represents a particular quality or idea that it enables the writer to bypass paragraphs of explanation and still place a vivid picture in their readers’ minds.

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Word or Concept Synonyms
sexual puritanism
over-accessorized décor
Victorian age
A time of progress at the expense of the countryside Industrial Age
chivalry
prideful and loyal heroic figure
“Song of Roland”
King Arthur
Lancelot
knights of the Round Table
The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation holocaust
massacre
genocide
mass extermination
Antonym Definition: A word or phrase that means the exact or nearly the exact opposite of a word or phrase in the same language.

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Synonym Antonyms
beautiful ugly
buy Verb
sell
hot cold
chilled
mild
chilly
weak
frigid
old
stale
out of fashion
unpopular
unappealing
lawful
here absent
up down

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