Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. No longer will you be anti the prefix anti-, even if it does mean “against” or “opposite”!
Let’s first take a look at anti-, which usually means “against,” but can also mean “opposite.” If you are anti anything, you are “against” it. An antidote to a poison is a remedy given “against” the poison to stop if from killing you. An antibiotic is a drug that is given to provide a shield “against” harmful bacteria that has invaded your body. Similarly, liquids in car engines tend to freeze if antifreeze is not given as a protection “against” frigid winter temperatures.
Sweat a lot? If so, you might want to use an antiperspirant, which will help shield you “against” perspiring. Perhaps someone who is antisocial, or “against” being social, wouldn’t care whether he’d use antiperspirant or not, since he wouldn’t be hanging around others anyway.
Sometimes the i of anti- is left out; this tends to happen before vowels. This variant, ant, also means “opposite” or “against.” For instance, Antarctica is the land that is “opposite” to the Arctic on the globe. An antonym is a word that is “opposite” in meaning to another word, such as dark being the antonym of light.
Would an antagonist of yours, or one who goes “against” you, offer you an antacid tablet or antimatter? If your stomach wasn’t feeling well because of too much acid in it, you would take an antacid, which would work “against” the acid to neutralize it. On the other hand, if you were to bring matter and antimatter, or the “opposite” of matter, together, they would annihilate each other in one huge explosion. Watch out if your antagonist is also a physicist!
Now words with anti- or ant in them will no longer go “against” your vocabulary knowledge, but rather much the “opposite!”
- anti: ‘against’
- antidote: remedy given ‘against’ a poison
- antibiotic: drug given ‘against’ the life-form bacteria which has invaded a body
- antifreeze: a liquid used ‘against’ the freezing of cars’ engines
- antiperspirant: product used to help fight ‘against’ perspiration
- antisocial: of going ‘against’ being social
- Antarctica: continent ‘opposite’ the Arctic on the globe
- antonym: word ‘opposite’ another in meaning
- antacid: tablet used ‘against’ stomach acid
- antagonist: one who goes ‘against’ another, usually the protagonist
- antimatter: matter that is the ‘opposite’ of normal matter