Definition of antipodes in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /anˈtɪpədiːz/

plural noun

1 (the Antipodes) Australia and New Zealand (used by inhabitants of the northern hemisphere): there were plants from the Antipodes, including eucalyptuses and acacias
More example sentences
  • Well as a final question: the two games this weekend that are of particular interest to us down here in the Antipodes, England and Australia, and Ireland and New Zealand.
  • Some of the best directors in the world come from the Antipodes, with New Zealand making a huge parallel contribution with artists like Jane Campion and Peter Jackson.
  • Geographically the very notion of the Antipodes has long been obsolete, since of course the continents above the equator don't need a counter-weight below to keep the globe from toppling sideways into deep space.
2The direct opposite of something: voting and violence are antipodes
More example sentences
  • They use the antagonism between the antipodes; the contrast of white and brown; and the polarity of night and day as a means of exploring issues of cultural imperialism and its legacy.
  • ‘Some apparently interesting places in Sumner, such as Shag Rock, have their antipodes just offshore in Spain while a nice little plaza in Foz is situated opposite a private home in your place,’ he said.
  • Strictly speaking, the words ‘choice’, ‘chance’ and ‘destiny’ are antipodes of each other.


Late Middle English: via French or late Latin from Greek antipodes 'having the feet opposite', from anti 'against, opposite' + pous, pod- 'foot'. The term originally denoted the inhabitants of opposite sides of the earth.

  • Think of a person standing on the other side of the world, exactly opposite the point on the Earth's surface where you are standing. The soles of their feet are facing the soles of your feet. This is the idea behind the word Antipodes, which came via French or Latin from the Greek word antipous, meaning ‘having the feet opposite’. Writing in 1398, John de Trevisa described the Antipodes who lived in Ethiopia as ‘men that have their feet against our feet’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: an|tipo|des

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.