An Antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. It comes from the Greek words "anti" for opposite and "onym" for name. Since language is complex, people may at times, disagree on what words are truly opposite in meaning to other words.

Antonym examples:

old / new

black / white

strong / weak

break / fix

Word origin : Greek, anti = opposite, onym = name

Categories of Antonyms

There are three categories of antonyms:

1. Graded Antonyms

Graded Antonyms deal with levels of the meaning of the words, like if something is not "good", is may still not be "bad." There is a scale involved with some words, and besides good and bad there can be average, fair, excellent, terrible, poor, or satisfactory.


  1. Last and first
  2. Foolish and wise
  3. Abundant and scarce
  4. Dark and light
  5. Dangerous and safe
  6. Clever and foolish
  7. Early and late
  8. Empty and full
  9. Smart and dumb
  10. Risky and safe
  11. Bad and good
  1. Pretty and ugly
  2. Best and worst
  3. Rich and poor
  4. Cool and hot
  5. Wet and dry
  6. Late and early
  7. Ignorant and educated
  8. Big and small
  9. Optimistic and pessimistic
  10. Excited and bored
  11. Dull and interestin

2. Complementary Antonyms

Complementary antonyms have a relationship where there is no middle ground. There are only two possibilities, either one or the other.


  1. Dead and alive
  2. Off and on
  3. Day and night
  4. Absent and present
  5. Exit and entrance
  • Sink or float
  • True or false
  • Input and output
  • Interior and exterior
  • Exhale and inhale

3. Relational Antonyms

Relational antonyms are sometimes considered a subcategory of complementary antonyms. With these pairs, for there to be a relationship, both must exist.


  1. Doctor and patient
  2. Buy and sell
  3. Predator and prey
  4. Above and below
  1. Teach and learn
  2. Instructor and pupil
  3. Servant and master
  4. Borrow and lend


Better practice for solving the Antonyms based question, you read the editorial column in the newspapers and follow the below stated steps.

1. Experiment with synonyms

After you see the meaning of a word, look up its usage in the sentence that is usually present in the dictionary. Note down this sentence. Prepare a new sentence after understanding the meaning of the word.

2. Prepare sentences with antonyms

So the next step is to find the antonym of the word, this further helps you to store the word well in your mind. Now try to form a sentence or couple of sentences with the antonyms.

3. Compare synonyms and antonyms

Use both the synonym (a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word) and the antonym to construct sentences using the same context or situation. This procedure enables you to see a word from both sides.

If you can follow this strategy, it would definitely solve your problem of learning new words without forgetting their meaning.

4. Important: Use the same context

You should always use the same background to write sentences using a new word, its synonyms and antonyms. If you use different circumstances, events or situations to get acquainted with the meaning and the usage of a word, there is a strong possibility that you may get confused.

It is the context that will always remind you of how the word is used, and will ensure you don’t forget the meaning easily.

LearnFrenzy provides you lots of fully solved Verbal Ability (Antonym) Questions and Answers with explanation.