Definition of antithesis noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ænˈtɪθəsɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ænˈtɪθəsɪs//
    [usually singular] (pl. antitheses
    BrE BrE//ænˈtɪθəsiːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ænˈtɪθəsiːz//
    (formal) Linguistic devices
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  1. 1the opposite of something Love is the antithesis of selfishness. Students finishing their education at 16 is the very antithesis of what society needs. The current establishment is the antithesis of democracy. See related entries: Linguistic devices
  2. 2a contrast between two things There is an antithesis between the needs of the state and the needs of the people. the sharp antithesis between their views See related entries: Linguistic devices
  3. Word Originlate 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 cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: antithesis