May 23, 2012
antithesis (noun)
\an-TITH-uh-sis\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: the exact opposite : contrary
How do you use it?
When Marc said he had read the first sentence of the chapter over the weekend, Mr. Perez announced that that was the antithesis of what he had meant by "set a reachable study goal."
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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