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What is a contronym?

What is a contronym?
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Also called antagonyms, autoantonyms or Janus words, contronyms are words with two definitions that contradict – or are the reverse of – each other. Put another way, “a contronym is a word with a homonym (another word with the same spelling but different meaning) that is also an antonym (a word with the opposite meaning),” according to Grammarly.

Strike

Strike
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Most people would automatically define the word ‘strike’ as ‘to hit or deliver a blow.’ But in baseball, it can also mean ‘to miss while trying to hit.’

Check out these 15 words that used to mean completely different things.

Seed

Seed
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If you ‘seed the lawn,’ you are adding seeds to the grass. But ‘seeding a watermelon’ means that you are removing the seeds, instead.

Trim

Trim
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When you trim the Christmas tree, are you adding its decorations or removing its branches? Technically, this term can be defined either way.

Bound

Bound
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Being bound for something means you are moving towards it. But being bound by something means your actions are restrained or limited.

Test your spelling skills here with the hardest words to spell in the English language.

Fast

Fast
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Fast could mean either ‘secured in one place’ or ‘moving quickly.’ For example, you’d probably want your car to be fast, but the tyres to hold fast.

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Clip

Clip
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Beware of the verb ‘to clip’ as well. You can clip papers by fastening them together with a paperclip, or clip a hedge by removing its branches with shears.

Do you know which word is the most misused word in the English language? Find out here.

Sanction

Sanction
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While a government can ‘sanction’ or allow an event to happen, it can also ‘sanction’ or impose a ban on another country.

Screen

Screen
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If what you mean is ‘to hide’ – as in, ‘a screen of fog’ – then using the verb ‘screen’ would be correct. But it’s also correct to use this term in the phrase ‘to screen a movie,’ which would mean ‘to show.’

Here are the grammar mistakes editors hate the most.

Weather

Weather
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Weather can mean ‘to withstand or endure,’ as in ‘weather a storm,” but also ‘worn down,’ as in ‘the rock is weathered.’

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