Definition of antithetical in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌantɪˈθɛtɪk(ə)l/


1Directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible: people whose religious beliefs are antithetical to mine
More example sentences
  • For a great number in both the academic world and in the public, apocalyptic thought is directly antithetical to the supposedly enlightened and rational methodology of science.
  • The whole idea of talking openly and sharing your feelings is antithetical to the good old-time values of emotional repression on which this country was founded.
  • Moreover, in some cultures, the idea of seeking an occupation, or working to advance the self, is meaningless within or even antithetical to dominant belief systems.
(directly) opposed to, contrary to, contradictory to, conflicting with, incompatible with, irreconcilable with, inconsistent with, at variance with, at odds with, contrasting with, different from/to, differing from, divergent from, unlike;
opposing, poles apart, polar, obverse
rare oppugnant
2Connected with, containing, or using the rhetorical device of antithesis: when praising the government, Pyrocles invokes the familiar oxymoronic and antithetical mode
More example sentences
  • The great age of English satire began with Dryden, who perfected the epigrammatic and antithetical use of the heroic couplet for this purpose.
  • His own prose style plays a part in some of the richest characterizations: the essay on Coriolanus is abrasive, that on Macbeth antithetical, on Hamlet inward-looking.
  • It is written in Attic Greek, with much studiedly antithetical rhetoric and frequent verbal borrowings from the classical authors, above all Thucydides.



Pronunciation: /antɪˈθɛtɪk/
Example sentences
  • The differences in world views between America and continental Europe are gradual, not antithetic, and the similarities exceed the differences by large.
  • In contemporary usage, civil society is usually regarded as antithetic to the state.
  • Whichever cause has created these effects, the current condition of the church in this country is antithetic to the purpose for which Christ started it


Pronunciation: /ˌantɪˈθɛtɪkli/
Example sentences
  • Casual as these associations may be - other readers will surely draw their own, perhaps antithetically - they make a compelling case for the critical relevance of a lost body of writing whose aesthetic interest isn't always apparent.
  • Christ's teachings so specifically preach the virtues of compassion and love and humility and nonjudgmentalism - to see Christians behaving so antithetically toward the teachings of Christ, I'm really offended by it.
  • He practices directing as antithetically and abusively to the author's intentions as perversely possible, reaping kudos from benighted reviewers and audiences alike.


Late 16th century (in sense 2): from Greek antithetikos, from antithetos 'placed in opposition', from antitithenai 'set against'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: anti|thet¦ic¦al

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