Do you use contronyms? Hint: the answer is yes.

Reblogger Barbara Todaro
Services for Real Estate Pros with RE/MAX Executive Realty 104763

Are you familiar with contronyms?  another learning session from Marte....

Original content by Marte Cliff

Are you now asking what the heck is a contronym? When I read the word this morning on I sure didn’t know.

It turns out, a contronym is “a word with a homonym (another word with the same spelling but different meaning) that is also an antonym (words with opposite meanings)”

  • For example, to dust can mean to remove the dust from your home, or to sprinkle powdered sugar over your cake.
  • If something is finished, it could be completed or destroyed. clip together
  • If you’re bound, it could mean you’re heading to a destination, or you’ve been restrained from movement.
  • You can clip two pieces of paper together, or you can clip them apart.
  • A Handicap could be an advantage provided to ensure equality, or a disadvantage that prevents equal achievement.
  • You can trim a tree by adding ornaments or by removing branches.

When I got curious, I found a website that listed 75 examples. I didn’t quite agree with all of them, because they aren’t the way we commonly use words, but I wouldn’t argue.

However, there was a comment section, and some people do love to argue. One of the silliest things I read was:

“Nothingness. It is a noun, hence the subject of a verb but nothingness cannot be anything except nothingness. It cannot be a noun, nor verb, nor any word at all. Contradiction! So this word must be a delusion. I don’t think it should be in the dictionary unless people like being deceived.”

I think this commenter got confused over the fact that a word is a word, regardless of its definition.

Clip Image courtesy of elrivera at
Scissors Image courtesy of kibsri at

Priest River, Idaho


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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

An interesting word study and we learned a new one e!

Jun 24, 2019 04:08 AM #1
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Barbara. Leave it to Marte to stir the winds of thought. Enjoy your day 

Jun 24, 2019 04:13 AM #2
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Barbara - we learned a new one with Marte.  She always provides good information.

Jun 24, 2019 05:17 AM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Barbara, for sharing this excellent reblog selection.

Jun 24, 2019 07:00 AM #4
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

In our society it seems that every day someone has hijacked the meaning  of a word and giving it a whole new connotation. I don’t think the Webster dictionary can keep up with all the new slang, Barbara Todaro 


thank you for sharing this post...

Jun 24, 2019 07:23 AM #5
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Barbara Todaro - I really enjoyed reading this post. I was very good at English classes when I was in grammar school, and it still interests me. 

Jun 24, 2019 07:32 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I probably learned this in grade school, but I certainly wasn't familiar with the word until I read this post, thank you for reblogging it and jogging my memory!

Jun 24, 2019 07:43 AM #7
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks for the reblog Barbara. If I had ever heard this word before last week, I sure don't remember it.

Jun 24, 2019 02:05 PM #8
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Interesting how Marte Cliff is a special pillar at ActiveRain - always asking, in one way or another, for members to reach higher in their course of perfected writing.  I wish we were best friends and perhaps she would edit the book I am writing  -  I would be blessed and oh yes, she'd have me working overtime in correcting my own work;  that I know ;)

Jun 24, 2019 06:32 PM #9
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