Verbal Ability -Antonyms


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Opposites are, interestingly, simultaneously different and similar in meaning. Typically, they differ in only one dimension of meaning, but are similar in most other respects, including similarity in grammar and positions of semantic abnormality. Additionally, not all words have an opposite. Some words are non-opposable. For example, animal or plant species have no binary opposites; the wordplatypus therefore has no word that stands in opposition to it. Other words are opposable but have an accidental gap in a given language's L exicon. For example, the word devout lacks a lexical opposite, but it is fairly easy to conceptualize a parameter of devoutness where devout lies at the positive pole with a missing member at the negative pole. Opposites of such words can nevertheless sometimes be formed with the prefixes un- or non- , with varying degrees of naturalness. For example, the word undevout appears in Webster's dictionary of 1828, while the pattern of non-person could conceivably be extended to non-platypus . This is a test in which your ability to understand the meanings of words and to distinguish between the fine shades of meaning. While testing your ability on questions pertaining to Antonyms, the first thing to be observed is your ability to grasp the meaning of the words given. Unless you know the meaning of the words given, on will not be able to find out or choose the exact antonyms from the options given. Mostly antonyms appear in the form of nouns, verbs and Adjectives.

Strategies To Solve Questions Based On Antonyms

Your approach to solve the questions based on antonyms require some strategies.

Check whether the question word and the opposite of the words and the opposite of the words given under the options are in the same parts of speech i.e noun, verb to verb etc.

You should have an idea of the roots of the words and know their meanings. For example, in the words benefactor, if you know the meaning of bene you will be able to guess the meanings of the words, and opt for the best antonyms.

You should also have the knowledge of prefixes and suffixes this will help you to find out the suitable antonyms. For example the prefix “un”in”im”dis” etc give a negative meanings.

Look at these examples given below:

Antonyms are words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. For example:

short and tall
dead and alive
increase and decrease
add and subtract

Example : Fortunate X Unfortunate
               Satisfied X Dissatisfied
               Complete X Incomplete
               Polite X Impolite

Negative Prefixes.
Similarly, the suffixes can also give opposite meanings. For examples Less is a suffix which gives an opposite meanings.

Example: Hope X Hopeless
         Meaning X Meaningless

Some words may not have a precise antonym. In such cases, you can look for a word or a phase which is nearly the opposites.

Sometimes, note than one word in the options given word. So, one has to make the choice judiciously. In this case, choose the word which gives great detail in the meaning.

Looking for the best answer and not for the ideas answer. Eliminate two or three of the options if they are no where related to given word.

Do not go for an antonym which is too limited or too broad to be an opposite.

when you get confused about the antonym to be chosen, try to think of how you have heard the word used before. You may discover a suitable context to guess the exact antonym.

Exercise Questions


Directions: Each of the questions consists of a word followed by five words or phrase as choices. Choose the word or phrase which is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capitals and shade the alphabets marked in the grid on your answer sheet.


a. loathe
b. despise
c. adore
d. abhor
e. attach



a. servile
b. first
c. fawning
d. supercilious
e. improper



a. not resonant
b. not reddish
c. not eager
d. pompous
e. loud



a. entangle
b. rescue
c. fail
d. assert
e. predict



a. defer
b. vacillate
c. sever
d. conjoin
e. laud



a. luxury
b. magnificence
c. richness
d. contentment
e. scarcity



a. decent
b. savage
c. major
d. volatile
e. scabby



a. praise
b. repetition
c. escape
d. ratification
e. addition



a. deteriorate
b. weaken
c. constrict
d. concentrate
e. fold


10. TOUT

a. cast aspersions on
b. deny the relevance of
c. placate
d. withhold consent
e. misrepresent


Answer Key

1.c; 2.d; 3.a; 4.d; 5.e; 6.e; 7.a; 8.a; 9.c; 10.e