are word pairs that are opposite in meaning, such as hot
, and up
. Words may have different antonyms, depending on the meaning. Both long
are antonyms of short
Antonyms are of two types:
- gradable antonyms are pairs that express relationships in a continuum, such as up and down
- complementary antonyms are pairs that express an either/or relationship, such as dead or alive.
Although the word antonym
was only coined by philologistss
in the 19th century
, such relationships are a fundamental part of the language, in contrast to synonyms
, which are a result of history and drawing of fine distinctions, or homonyms, which are mostly etymological
accidents or coincidences.