Definition of antithesis in English:

antithesis

Line breaks: an¦tith|esis
Pronunciation: /anˈtɪθəsɪs
 
/

noun (plural antitheses /-siːz/)

  • 1A person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else: love is the antithesis of selfishness
    More example sentences
    • The Edmonton Oilers dynasty of the 1980s was the direct antithesis of the Flyers.
    • Again, one could infer that it is the direct antithesis to works.
    • Yet Edward always saw reconciliation in the form of its antithesis or opposite.
    Synonyms
    (direct) opposite, converse, reverse, reversal, inverse, obverse; the other extreme, the other side of the coin
    informal the flip side
  • 1.1A contrast or opposition between two things: the antithesis between occult and rational mentalities
    More example sentences
    • This opposition provides the most convincing rationale for his famous antithesis between bureaucracy and charisma.
    • Not only was the antithesis between the finite and the eternal, the human and the divine, treated by him as ontologically fundamental; in the final analysis it also governed the picture he drew of human nature and its basic orientation.
    • Now, your Honours, the antithesis between the two approaches can be seen very clearly from a comparison of three short passages in the judgments.
    Synonyms
    contrast, opposition
  • 1.2 [mass noun] A rhetorical or literary device in which an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed: figures of speech such as antithesis [count noun]: his sermons were full of startling antitheses
    More example sentences
    • An analysis of this speech reveals that the student used varied repetition strategies, including anaphora, antithesis, chiasmus, and parallelism.
    • This extravagant praise, moreover, takes the form of far-fetched metaphors, antitheses, hyperboles, superlatives, elaborate syntax, etc.
    • Othello's account of the origins of the handkerchief, another example of this discoursal antithesis, combines, in a contrastive fugal pattern, domestic detail and the mystical sublime of an empowering love.
  • 2 [mass noun] (In Hegelian philosophy) the negation of the thesis as the second stage in the process of dialectical reasoning. Compare with synthesis.
    More example sentences
    • It is also to be noted that the dialectical process is not simply from thesis and antithesis to final synthesis; it is an eternal, open-ended spiral of development.
    • Often the synthesis, though adequately reconciling the previous thesis and antithesis, will turn out to be one-sided in some other respect.
    • The revelation of this mystical wholeness occurs through the dialectic: a thesis is manifest and contested by its antithesis, the resolution of which, leads to a new thesis and so on.

Origin

late Middle English (originally denoting the substitution of one grammatical case for another): from late Latin, from Greek antitithenai 'set against', from anti 'against' + tithenai 'to place'. The earliest current sense, denoting a rhetorical or literary device, dates from the early 16th century.

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