complementary antonym

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

complementary antonym (plural complementary antonyms)

  1. (semantics) A term whose meaning is the complement of another term, in an either-or fashion, such as mortal in relation to immortal.
  2. (linguistics, philosophy, semantics) One of a pair of words wherein affirmative use of one entails the negative of the other with no gradability.
    • 2010, M. Lynne Murphy, Lexical Meaning[1], page 120:
      Complementary (also called contradictory) antonyms are those for which the assertion of one entails the negation of the other and vice versa, as in (17).
      a. That integer is even. → That integer is not odd.
      b. That integer is not odd. → That integer is even.

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