May 23, 2017
antithesis (noun)
\an-TITH-uh-sis\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: the exact opposite : contrary
How do you use it?
My older sister wants to attend a college in a place that is the antithesis of our small town, so she is applying to schools in Boston, New York, and Chicago.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the following words do you think comes from the same Greek root word as "antithesis"?

Answer B is exactly correct! "Antithesis" and "theme" both trace back to "tithenai," a Greek word meaning "to place" or "to set." "Theme" can mean "a subject for a work of literature, art, or music" or "a written composition." Other "tithenai" relatives also have to do the placing or setting of ideas. "Thesis," meaning "a statement put forth for discussion or proof," traces to "tithenai," as does "synthesis," which can mean "the combining of often very different ideas into an ordered whole." "Parenthesis," meaning "a word, phrase, or sentence inserted in a passage to explain or comment on it" is another member of this word family.
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