AskDefine | Define antiphrasis

Dictionary Definition

antiphrasis n : the use of a word in a sense opposite to its normal sense (especially in irony)

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the use of a word or phrase in a sense not in accord with its literal meaning, especially for ironic or humorous effect

Related terms

Extensive Definition

An antiphrasis (from Greek and Latin: anti, opposite, and phrasis, diction) is a figure of speech that is a word used to mean the opposite of its usual sense, especially ironically. Examples:
  • "He is but a youngster" (describing a middle-aged man)
  • "The past is strongest in its resurrection; but she will have neither." (succumbing to nostalgia; from "Three-Fold Flowers" by Andrea Duerme)
antiphrasis in German: Antiphrasis
antiphrasis in Spanish: Antífrasis
antiphrasis in French: Antiphrase
antiphrasis in Galician: Antífrase
antiphrasis in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Antiphrase
antiphrasis in Italian: Antifrasi
antiphrasis in Hebrew: לשון סגי נהור
antiphrasis in Dutch: Antifrase
antiphrasis in Uzbek: Antifraz
antiphrasis in Portuguese: Antífrase
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1