Same sound, opposite meaning
self at TOWSE.COM
Tue May 7 22:55:23 UTC 2002
Drew Danielson wrote:
> Paul McFedries wrote:
> > Is there an official term for homophonic words that have the opposite (or
> > nearly the opposite) meanings? For example: raise and raze.
> > Thanks.
> > Paul
> how about 'contronym'?
> from an online chat archive at
> On one of the AWAD forums we've had an ongoing discussion in regards to
> cleave/cleave, two homonyms which are actually opposite in meaning. do
> you know of any other such pairs of words?
> Richard Lederer (Guest Speaker)
> Regarding cleave/cleave, you'll find a listing of more than 50 of these
> contronyms also in CRAZY ENGLISH. If any of you need specific material
> like this, just email me at richard.lederer at pobox.com and I'll attach it
> and send it to you personally.
Contronyms, I believe, are words which conflict with themselves:
An interesting "nym" listing, including contronym, charactonym,
retronym and more. A number of the nyms are taken from Lederer's
Crazy English, 1989.
A favorite? Exonym.
useful links for writers:
More information about the Ads-l