Definition of contronym in English:

contronym

Syllabification: con·tro·nym
Pronunciation: /ˈkäntrəˌnim
 
/
(also contranym)

noun

A word with two opposite meanings, e.g., sanction (which can mean both ‘a penalty for disobeying a law’ and ‘official permission or approval for an action’).
More example sentences
  • Certainly, many of these contronyms are part of idiomatic expressions.
  • I'm not sure if this would be a pure contranym because the two phrases don't necessarily oppose each other.
  • Using a contronym requires the listener's knowing which of its meanings applies.

Origin

1960s: blend of contra- and -onym, on the pattern of synonym and antonym.

Definition of contronym in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
noun
lack of modesty