A contranym is a word that can mean the opposite of itself. Sometimes they are called “antagonyms”. Let’s look at few:
Oversight (watchful control or something not noticed)
- The scholastic oversight committee made sure that no one cheated on the tests.
- Damn! A minor oversight lead to the stove not being turned off and the house burnt down.
Fast (moving rapidly or fixed in position)
- A car with an eight-cylinder engine is fast!
- Oh dear! I used super glue on my shoes and now I am stuck fast to the floor.
Citation (award for good behavior or a penalty for bad behavior)
- The fireman received a citation from the mayor for saving the baby who fell in to the well.
- That parking citation came with a 100.00 fine.
Bound (moving towards or unable to move)
- The train was New York bound.
- My girdle bound my torso so tight I was unable to sit.
Buckle– (to pull together or to fall apart)
- Her scarf pulled the entire outfit together.
- His knees buckled when he heard that had won the lottery.
Come on! We’re sure you can think of some more contranyms! Send them to us!
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