Opposites in English – Word list – A – F

Here you will find a table of words and their opposites. Opposites formed by prefixes (dis-, ex-, im-, in-, irr-, un- etc.) are not listed here.

Technical and geographical words are listed only in a very small amount because of clarity.

Word Opposite
about exactly
above below
absence presence
abundance lack
to accept to refuse
accidental intentional
active lazy
to add to subtract
to admit to deny
adult child
advanced elementary
affirmative negative
afraid brave
after before
against for
alike different
alive dead
all none
to allow to forbid
already not yet
always never
ancient modern
ancestor descendant
to agree to refuse, to argue
amateur professional
to amuse to bore
ancestor descendant
angel devil
animal human
to annoy to satisfy
to answer to ask
answer question
antonym synonym
apart together
approximately exactly
to argue to agree
to arrest to free, to set free
arrival departure
to arrive to depart, to leave
artificial natural
ascent descent
to ask to answer
asleep awake
to attack to defend
attack defence, protection
attic cellar
autumn spring
awake asleep
awful delicious, nice, pleasant
back in front of
background foreground
backward forward
bad good
bad luck fortune, good luck
beauty ugliness
before after
to begin to end, to stop, to finish
beginning end, ending
behind in front of
below above
best worst
better worse
beautiful ugly
big small, little
birth death
bitter sweet
black white
blunt sharp
body soul
to bore to amuse, to be interested in
boring exciting, interesting
to borrow to lend
bottom top
boy girl
brave cowardly, afraid
to break to mend, to fix
broad narrow
brother sister
to build to destroy
busy lazy
to buy to sell
calm excited
careful careless
careless careful
to catch to miss, to throw
ceiling floor
cellar attic
centre outskirts, suburb
certainly probably
changeable constant
cheap expensive
child adult, grown-up
children parents
clean dirty
clear cloudy
clever stupid
to close to open
closed open
cloudy clear, sunny, bright
cold (kalt) hot
cold (Kälte) heat
to come to go
comedy drama, tragedy
complicated simple
compliment insult
compulsory voluntary
to connect to separate
consonant vowel
constant changeable
construction destruction
to continue to interrupt
cool warm
correct false, wrong
courage fear
courageous cowardly
cowardly brave, courageous
to create to destroy
cruel human, kind
to cry (schreien) to whisper
to cry (weinen) to laugh
to damage to repair
danger security, safety
dangerous safe
dark light
daughter son
dawn dusk
day night
dead alive
death birth, life
deep shallow
defeat victory
defence attack
to defend to attack
delicious awful
to deny to admit
to depart to arrive
departure arrival
descendant ancestor
descent ascent
desperate hopeful
to destroy to build, to create, to form
destruction construction
devil angel
dictatorship republic
to die to live
different alike, equal, the same
difficult easy
dirty clean
disease health
distant near
to divide to unite
division unity
to divorce to marry
divorce marriage, wedding
divorced married
domestic foreign
down up
downstairs upstairs
drama comedy
dry humid, wet
dull interesting
dusk dawn
early late
east west
easy difficult, hard
elementary advanced
to emigrate to immigrate
emigration immigration
empty full
to end to begin
end beginning
ending beginning
enemy friend
to enjoy to hate
to enter to leave
entrance exit
equal different
even (Zahlen) odd
evening morning
everybody nobody
everything nothing
exactly about, approximately
excited calm
exciting boring
to exclude to include
exit entrance
expensive cheap
export import
exposure shelter
extreme moderate
to fail to succeed, to pass
failure success
false correct, true
far near
fast slow
fat slim, thin
fear courage
female male
few many
final first
to find to lose
to finish to begin
finish start
first final, last
to fix to break
flat hilly
floor ceiling
to follow to lead
to forbid to allow, to let, to permit
for against
foreground background
foreign domestic
foreigner native
to forget to remember
to form to destroy
fortune bad luck
forward backward
to free to arrest
to freeze to melt
frequently occasionally
fresh old/stale
friend enemy
front rear
in front of back, behind
full empty
funny serious
future past, present

Thanks to Alina, Elisabeth and Friedrich.