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7th Grade Language Arts / Lesson 4.10: Antonyms


Antonyms - words with opposite meanings. 


  • fast - slow
  • happy - sad
  • noise - silence
  • excitement - boredom
  • thoughtful - neglectful

Many words have more than one meaning, so they may have more than one antonym.  Therefore it is important to see how a word is used before you choose an antonym.



 Is there a light outside?  dark
 The suitcase is light.  heavy

Forming Antonyms by Using Prefixes.

Sometimes an antonym can be formed by adding a prefix to the word.  The prefixes below can give the opposite meaning to a base word.


 Base Word


 un  sorted  unsorted
 in  dependent  independent
 dis  function  disfunction
 non  refundable  nonrefundable


Tricky Antonyms

Sometimes, antonyms are easy to recognize.  Other times they are harder.  Sometimes you have to pay attention to things you may think aren't important.

 Make sure both words are the same part of speech

I will make the display.

Choose the antonym

  • destroy (verb)
  • destruction (noun)

Make is a verb, so the antonym must also be a verb.  The correct antonym is "destroy."


  Make sure both words show the same intensity of feeling

 She was depressed.

Choose the antonym

  • okay
  • elated

Since depressed shows strong feeling of sadness, the antonym must express a strong feeling of happiness.  The word "elated" means very happy and is the antonym.