Antiphonetic – Definition & Meaning

Language is a complex system of communication that is constantly evolving. As such, new words are created and added to dictionaries every year. One such word that has recently gained attention is “antiphonetic.” In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, and meaning of antiphonetic, as well as its associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


Antiphonetic is an adjective that describes something that is pronounced differently from how it is spelled. In other words, it refers to words that have irregular pronunciations or spelling. For example, “colonel” is pronounced “kernel,” and “ghoti” (a made-up word) is pronounced “fish” (using the “gh” sound from “enough,” the “o” sound from “women,” and the “ti” sound from “nation”).


The word antiphonetic is derived from the Greek words “anti” (against) and “phonetikos” (relating to sound or speech). It was first used in the early 20th century.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of antiphonetic is consistent across different dictionaries. Merriam-Webster defines it as “having a pronunciation that does not correspond to the spelling.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “pronounced differently from how it is spelled.”


Antiphonetic words are often associated with English, as it is a language with many irregularities in pronunciation and spelling. However, other languages also have antiphonetic words. For example, in French, the word “huit” (eight) is pronounced “weet,” and in Spanish, the word “lluvia” (rain) is pronounced “yoo-vee-ah.”


There are several synonyms for antiphonetic, including “heterophonic,” “heterographic,” and “heteronymic.”


The antonyms of antiphonetic are words that are pronounced the way they are spelled. These include “phonetic,” “orthographic,” and “homophonic.”

The same root words

Antiphonetic is derived from the Greek words “anti” and “phonetikos.” Other words that share the same root include “antipathy,” “antibiotic,” and “antithesis.”

Example Sentences

  • The word “colonel” is antiphonetic because it is pronounced “kernel.”
  • The word “ghoti” is an example of an antiphonetic word because it is pronounced “fish.”
  • French has many antiphonetic words, such as “huit,” which is pronounced “weet.”
  • The word “phonetic” is the antonym of antiphonetic because it is pronounced the way it is spelled.
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