Antonyms are words that have the exact opposite meaning of another word.
Antonyms derive its name from the word "anti" meaning "opposite" and "onym" meaning "name".
Antonyms are important because it helps to understand the exact meaning of the word given. To understand the meaning of a word, we can also take a look at the antonym or the opposite word. It helps us to find the exact meaning from diverse meanings, from the opposite point of view.
It may be interesting to note that most dictionaries present the meaning, synonyms and antonyms of words for a clear understanding.
Let us take up the case of the word "beautiful".
- The dictionary meaning is "pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically". Synonyms are "lovely, pretty, good-looking" and the antonym is "ugly".
- The antonym expresses the opposite meaning and it is precise. It helps to understand the word "beautiful" from a reverse perspective also.