Opposite Words in English: Learn the Common Word Pairs

Have you ever heard of ‘Opposite Words’? They’re like word buddies that do the opposite of each other! Opposite words in English balance each other out – just like “hot” and “cold,” “happy” and “sad.

It’s a bit like a fun word game where one word goes in the opposite direction of the other. Learning opposite words in English is like finding secret codes in English. You can talk and write better when you learn these special word pairs, just like a word wizard!  

So, get ready to explore “Opposite Words in English” where “up” meets “down,” and “big” gives a high-five to “small.”

Common Opposite Words in English

Below is the list of common opposite words in English, organized alphabetically from A to Z.

A

WordsOpposite Words
AboveBelow
AbundantScarce
ActivePassive
AddSubtract
AfraidBrave
AfterBefore
AlwaysNever
ApartTogether
ArrivalDeparture
AwakeAsleep
AwayClose
AverageExceptional
AwakeAsleep
AttackDefend
AttractRepel
AutumnSpring
AvoidSeek
AwakeSleep
AloneTogether
AngryCalm
ArriveDepart
AbleUnable
AscendDescend
AcceptReject
AllowForbid
ArtificialNatural
AuthenticCounterfeit

B

WordsOpposite Words
BackFront
BadGood
BeautifulUgly
BeginEnd
BelowAbove
BeneathAbove
BestWorst
BetterWorse
BigSmall
BindFree
BirthDeath
BitterSweet
BlackWhite
BlamePraise
BlessCurse
BlockClear
BoldTimid
BorrowLend
BraveCowardly
BreakMend
BrightDark
BringTake
BroadNarrow
BuildDestroy
BuySell

C

WordsOpposite Words
CarefulCareless
CheapExpensive
CleanDirty
ClearCloudy
CloseOpen
ColdHot
ComeGo
ComfortableUncomfortable
CompleteIncomplete
ComposeDecompose
ConfidentInsecure
ConnectDisconnect
ConstructDemolish
CorrectIncorrect
CreateDestroy
CruelKind
CryLaugh
CutPaste

D

WordsOpposite Words
DarkLight
DayNight
DeadAlive
DeepShallow
DefendAttack
DenseSparse
DifficultEasy
DiligentLazy
DirtyClean
DisappearAppear
DiscoverHide
DryWet
DullBright

E

WordsOpposite Words
EarlyLate
EasyDifficult
ElatedDepressed
EmptyFull
EmergeSubmerge
EndBegin
EnterExit
EvenOdd
EveryNone
ExcitedBored
ExpandShrink
ExpensiveCheap
ExternalInternal

F

WordsOpposite Words
FailSucceed
FalseTrue
FarNear
FastSlow
FatThin
FewMany
FindLose
FinishStart
FirstLast
FlexibleRigid
FloatSink
FlyLand
FollowLead
ForAgainst
ForgetRemember
ForwardBackward
FrontBack
FullEmpty
FuturePast

G

WordsOpposite Words
GainLose
GentleHarsh
GetGive
GirlBoy
GiveTake
GladSad
GoCome
GoodBad
GrowShrink
GenerousStingy

H

WordsOpposite Words
HappySad
HardSoft
HateLove
HaveLack
HeShe
HealthySick
HeavyLight
HereThere
HighLow
HinderFacilitate
HotCold
HugeTiny

I

WordsOpposite Words
InOut
IncreaseDecrease
InsideOutside
InterestingBoring
IntroduceFarewell
InvolveExclude
InvisibleVisible
InvisibleVisible
InviteRefuse

J

WordsOpposite Words
JoyfulSad
JuniorSenior
JustUnjust
JoinSeparate
JollyGloomy
JudgePraise
JumpFall

K

WordsOpposite Words
KindMean
KnowledgeIgnorance
KnownUnknown
KeenApathetic
KeepLose
KindnessCruelty
KnowledgeableUninformed
KidAdult
KnowledgeableIgnorant
KneelStand
KnowledgeableClueless
KickCatch
KudosCriticism
KingCommoner
KeepGive up
KillRevive
KissRepel
KeyLock
KindheartedHeartless
KnowledgeableNaive
KnownHidden
KnownConfidential
KeepDiscard
KeepAbandon
KillSpare
KidnapRelease

L

WordsOpposite Words
LargeSmall
LastFirst
LateEarly
LaughCry
LazyActive
LeadFollow
LeftRight
LessMore
LightHeavy
LikeDislike
ListenIgnore
LittleBig
LiveDie
LongShort
LoseWin
LoudQuiet
LoveHate

M

WordsOpposite Words
MajorMinor
ManyFew
MaximizeMinimize
MerrySad
ModernAncient
MoreLess
MortalImmortal
MoveStill
MultiplyDivide
MusicSilence
MinuteHour
MinorMajor
MessyNeat
MindfulCareless
MakeBreak

N

WordsOpposite Words
NarrowWide
NearFar
NeverAlways
NewOld
NightDay
NoYes
NoneAll
NothingEverything
NowLater

O

WordsOpposite Words
OddEven
OffOn
OldNew
OpenClose
OptimizeCompromise
OrderChaos
OutsideInside
OverUnder

P

WordsOpposite Words
PartWhole
PassFail
PatientImpatient
PeacefulChaotic
PermanentTemporary
PositiveNegative
PowerfulWeak
PresentAbsent
PrettyUgly
ProsperousDestitute

Q

WordsOpposite Words
QuestionAnswer
QuickSlow
QuietLoud

R

WordsOpposite Words
RaiseLower
RareCommon
RealFake
RichPoor
RightLeft
RoughSmooth
RoundSquare

S

WordsOpposite Words
SafeDangerous
SameDifferent
SaveSpend
ShallowDeep
SharpDull
ShortLong
ShowHide
SickHealthy
SimpleComplicated
SingleMarried
SinkFloat
SlowFast
SmallBig
SmoothRough
SoftHard
StartFinish
StopGo
StrongWeak
SunnyCloudy
SweetSour

T

WordsOpposite Words
TallShort
TopBottom
TightLoose
TogetherApart
TransparentOpaque
TrueFalse
ThinThick
TimidBold
TinyHuge
TowardAway
TriumphFailure
TruthLie
TeachLearn
TemporaryPermanent
TerribleWonderful
TerminateInitiate
TidyMessy
TiredEnergized
TortureComfort
TraceErase
TransparentOpaque
TryGive up

U

WordsOpposite Words
UnderOver
UnhappyHappy
UnkindKind
UnusualCommon
UpDown

V

WordsOpposite Words
ValidInvalid
ValueWorthless
VanishAppear
VastTiny
VeilReveal
VictoryDefeat
VisibleInvisible
VitalInsignificant
VividDull
VolunteerRefuse
VoteOppose

W

WordsOpposite Words
WarmCold
WeakStrong
WetDry
WinLose
WithWithout

Y

WordsOpposite Words
YesNo
YoungOld

Z

WordsOpposite Words
ZeroNon-zero
ZenithNadir
ZigzagStraight
ZealApathy
ZestBoredom

Opposite Words in English Exercises

Exercise 1: Match the words on the left with their opposites on the right.

Left ColumnRight Column
HappyOpen
SlowCold
OldShort
EmptyDirty
HotNew
TallFast
YoungUp
CloseFull
CleanSad
DownOld

Answer Key:

  1. Happy – Sad
  2. Slow – Fast
  3. Old – New
  4. Empty – Full
  5. Hot – Cold
  6. Tall – Short
  7. Young – Old
  8. Close – Open
  9. Clean – Dirty
  10. Down – Up

Exercise 2: Match the words on the left with their opposites on the right.

Left ColumnRight Column
PraiseStingy
ExpandDestitute
GenerousDecompose
EmergeRigid
ProsperousCompromise
ConstructLazy
ComposeDescend
FlexibleFacilitate
AuthenticScarce
AbundantDepressed
ElatedDemolish
OptimizeCounterfeit
AscendSubmerge
DiligentBlame
HinderShrink

Answer Key:

  1. Praise – Blame
  2. Expand – Shrink
  3. Generous – Stingy
  4. Emerge – Submerge
  5. Prosperous – Destitute
  6. Construct – Demolish
  7. Compose – Decompose
  8. Flexible – Rigid
  9. Authentic – Counterfeit
  10. Abundant – Scarce
  11. Elated – Depressed
  12. Optimize – Compromise
  13. Ascend – Descend
  14. Diligent – Lazy
  15. Hinder – Facilitate

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