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302 language/english/synonyms/contranym.p




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This article is from the Puzzles FAQ, by Chris Cole chris@questrel.questrel.com and Matthew Daly mwdaly@pobox.com with numerous contributions by others.

302 language/english/synonyms/contranym.p


What words are their own antonym?

language/english/synonyms/contranym.s

In his 1989 book _Crazy English_, Richard Lederer calls such words
contranyms and lists more than 35, although some are phrases instead of
words. These can be divided into homographs (same spelling) and
homophones (same pronunciation).

A partial list of homographs:
aught = all, nothing
bill = invoice, money
cleave = to separate, to join
clip = cut apart, fasten together
comprise = contain, compose
custom = usual, special
dust = to remove, add fine particles
fast = rapid, unmoving
literally = actually, figuratively
model = archetype, copy
moot = debatable, academic
note = promise to pay, money
oversight = care, error
peep = look quietly, beep
peer = noble, person of equal rank
put = lay, throw
puzzle = pose problem, solve problem
quantum = very small, very large (quantum leap)
ravel = entangle, disentangle
resign = to quit, to sign up again
sanction = to approve of, to punish
sanguine = murderous, optimistic
scan = to examine closely, to glance at quickly
set = fix, flow
skin = to cover with, remove outer covering
speak = express verbally, express nonverbally
stipulate = request explicitly, agree to
strike = miss (baseball), hit
table = propose [British], set aside
temper = calmness, passion
trim = cut things off, put things on

A very short list of homophones:
aural, oral = heard, spoken
fiance, fiancee = female betrothed, male betrothed
raise, raze = erect, tear down

A pair of French words which can be very confusing:
La symetrie (symmetry) and L'asymetrie (asymmetry).

Latin:
immo = yes, no

Possibilities:
draw (curtains, open or close) (money, withdraw, accumulate interest)
eke

language/english/synonyms/double.synonyms.p

What words have two different synonymous meanings?

language/english/synonyms/double.synonyms.s

list, roll: set of names (noun), tilt (verb)

 

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