Antonyms are words with the opposite meaning, unlike synonyms which are words that share the same meaning. There are many more words with synonyms than there are words with antonyms. In the English language many words just don’t have an opposite, such as hamburger or tree or dog (and no, the opposite word is not cat!).
Antonyms also seem to be a much more recent addition to English than synonyms. Antonyms first appeared in the late 1800s, while synonyms have been used for over 500 years. A list of antonyms can be sometimes found in the dictionary of synonyms called Thesaurus.
Here’s a list of a couple of examples that we put together by using a dictionary:
- happy – unhappy, sad, miserable, pessimistic, brokenhearted, blue, downhearted
- sad – happy, ecstatic, overjoyed, exhilarated, jolly, optimistic, cheerful, joyous, joyful
- delicious – disgusting, inedible, unpalatable, distasteful, unappetizing, yucky
- disgusting – delicious, charming, attractive, delightful, pleasing, enjoyable, appetizing, yummy