Contranyms are cool!

From my almanac, while waiting for a meeting to start, I discovered contranyms, which are words that have opposite meanings depending on their context. Some examples:

cleave: “to split apart” or “to stick together”.

clip: “to cut” or “to fasten”.

sanction: “approval” or “punishment”.

screen: “to shield” or “to present”.

trim: “to cut away” or “to ornament”.

I’m sure there are others. What more could you ask for from a language than a single word that can take on two opposite meanings. Boy, am I glad I don’t have to learn English from scratch!


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