not able to be true at the same time
In “1984”, George Orwell coined the term “doublethink”, the ability to believe two
things.Economist (Jan 18, 2018)
If I said, “I will never eat another pizza again. I renounce all pizza!” while eating a pizza, my words and actions are contradictory. They’re opposed: they contradict each other. Most people don’t like to be contradicted, especially people in authority. If a teacher tells you the moon mission left behind a colony of robot dinosaurs, they probably won’t like it if you say, “Um, that doesn’t sound right.” Also, that teacher should be fired.
characterized by feelings of intense dislike or hostility
“This includes expression of ideas that are deeply unpopular, offensive to many in our community, contrary to research-based understandings, and
to University tenets.”Washington Post (Oct 20, 2017)
Antagonistic things are opposed to each other. Antagonistic muscles are literally opposed, like the bicep and tricep. An antagonistic remark is not just a contradiction, but a hostile one. A related word is often used when discussing fiction. In a movie, TV show, book, or other story, the main character is the protagonist. The person who opposes them—often a villain of some sort—is the antagonist. Think Valdemort or Kylo Ren.
sharply contrasted in character or purpose
Antithetical things are opposed, usually in terms of ideas or beliefs. If you’re a firefighter, it would be antithetical to your values to let a house burn. For some people, religion and science are antithetical. This word is related to thesis, as in thesis statement, which is the argument of a paper, usually stated in one clear sentence. The thesis is the point of your essay and anything that goes against that point would be antithetical.
When the team peered into the brittlestar’s body, they saw that the nerve bundles ran between, rather than below, the crystal structures —
to what they expected.Nature (Jan 23, 2018)
Things that are complimentary go together well, like peanut butter and waffles—er, jelly. But things that are contrary don’t go together well at all. If you had a house full of Christmas decorations in July, they would be contrary to the calendar. If you went to a funeral and were smiling and giggling, your behavior would be contrary to the solemnity of the occasion. When someone is about to propose an opposite point of view, they often start by saying, “On the contrary!”
characterized by opposite extremes
First off, Leia’s comic book features two heroines who are “kinda like sisters,” but
opposites in demeanor: Violet and Violence.Washington Post (Jul 11, 2017)
This word can mean chilly or frigid, just like the North and South poles, or it can take another meaning from the farthest reaches of the globe: opposite. If you’re on the North Pole, you can’t get farther away than the South Pole, unless you go to Mars, which is even less hospitable than the East Coast in winter. People often speak of polar opposites, such as horse manure and ice cream or politics and honesty.
seemingly contradictory but nonetheless possibly true
Although the story features
world rules and raving characters, fundamentally this is a classic hero’s quest.Washington Post (Jan 9, 2018)
A paradox is a statement or situation that says two things at once: it contradicts itself in some way, often to state a deeper truth. So a paradoxical notion contains its own opposite. The fact that life can seem long and short at the same time is a paradox. Many Zen koans—short riddles that are used in Buddhist meditation—are paradoxical. One asks, “What was your face before your mother and father were born?” Puzzle over that paradox too long, and you might be come enlightened or dizzy.
opposite in nature or effect or relation to another quantity
It’s almost the
of her role in Mad Max: Fury Road: she starts in control of the situation, then fights to maintain that control.The Verge (Jul 25, 2017)
Things that have an inverse relationship are not on the same page: well, they might literally be on the same page, but they’re moving in opposite directions. If cold weather and economic growth have an inverse relationship, then as temperatures get frigid, the economy heats up. Eating chocolate cake every day and losing weight have an inverse relationship. The opposite of inverse is direct.
suggest that something (e.g., a treatment) is inadvisable
And most doctors, along with Light, the CDC, and the NFID, recommend that everyone over the age of 6 months, barring a
medical condition, get the flu shot every year.Los Angeles Times (Oct 14, 2017)
Another contra word, this one is mostly found in the world of medicine. Doctors talk about symptoms and diseases that contraindicate medicines and treatments. For example, if you’re allergic to Penicillin, that would certainly contraindicate taking any Penicillin. The root of this word, indicate, is more straightforward. If someone is yelling “Help!” then that indicates they’re in need of some assistance. You can also talk about indications and contraindications.
a contrary command reversing a previous command
The provisional government, already largely powerless, spent that time ordering extra troops into Petrograd, while the Bolshevik commissars set about
these orders.The Guardian (Oct 30, 2017)
In the military, a command tells you to do something, but a countermand cancels out that order—or orders you to do the opposite.
impossible to bring into accord
The previous round of negotiations closed in Washington in mid-October with seemingly
differences between the three parties, prompting the United States to push back the timetable for the talks.New York Times (Nov 12, 2017)
Irreconcilable things can’t be reconciled, smoothed over, or negotiated. For example, if one spouse wants children, and the other would rather have cockroaches, that’s an irreconcilable difference.
complete reversal of direction of travel
If you turn completely around while driving, so you end up going in the opposite direction, you just did a u-turn, so named for the resemblance to the letter.
as from opposite ends of a diameter
Although the two men held what appeared to be
opposing views on the struggle for equal rights, scholars say by the end of their lives their ideologies were evolving.Washington Post (Jan 14, 2018)
a directly contrary relation
a word that expresses an opposite meaning