Contronyms from Dike to Flog

When you dust the blades on your ceiling fan, are you removing the fine particles of dirt or adding them? When you have a fast horse, does it move quickly or is it stuck in one spot? You state that something is finished. Is it completed, or is it destroyed?

Cawthorne Dike, www.geograph.org.uk

Cawthorne Dike, www.geograph.org.uk

dike
dike is a wall or temporary embankment to protect an area from flooding.
The frightened residents built a dike out of sandbags to keep the raging river from flooding their town.
dike is also a ditch.
The small pond drained into the dike.

discursive
Discursive means to aimlessly go from one subject to another or to ramble.
There seemed to be no plot at all in her discursive tale.
Discursive also means to proceed by reasoning without rambling.
The leader’s discursive speech calmed the angry crowd.

a dollop of mashed potatoes, flickr

a dollop of mashed potatoes, flickr

dollop
dollop is a large amount.
A dollop of ice cream ran down the sides of the cone.
dollop is also a small amount.
I believe there is a dollop of truth in what you say.

dust
When you dust the furniture, you remove fine particles of dirt from it.
It seemed the dust had to be an inch thick before she felt the need to dust the furniture.
You also dust something when you cover it with fine particles.
The farmer refused to dust his crops with insecticide.

dust, wikipedia

dust, wikipedia

enjoin
Enjoin means to order someone to do something.
The doctor plans to enjoin all of his patients to go on a diet.
Enjoin also means to prohibit or forbid.
Afraid that her father would enjoin her from going on a date, she snuck out of the house once her parents were in bed.

fast train, wikimedia commons

fast train, wikimedia commons

fast
If something is fast, then it moves quickly.
The fast horse ensured she arrived at the wedding before it began.
On the other hand, if something is fast, it could also have been made stable so it wouldn’t move at all.
The beds on the boat were made fast so the passengers could get some quality sleep.

fine
An item that is fine is of superior quality.
Fine wine is a complement to any good meal.
But an item that is fine could also only be satisfactory or acceptable.
Her test scores were barely fine.

finished slipform stone house, wikimedia commons

finished slipform stone house, wikimedia commons

finished
When a project is finished, it is completed.
Michael breathed a huge sigh of relief when he finished the report for school.
But when something is finished, it is destroyed.
After her husband’s indiscretion, Lydia told him their marriage was finished.

first degree
Murder in the first degree is the most severe charge of murder that a killer can receive.
He hung his head when the jury found him guilty of murder in the first degree.
But in the case of a burn, a first-degree burn is much less serious than a third-degree burn. It is the least serious burn one can receive.
The first-degree burn healed quickly.

first-degree burn, wikimedia commons

first-degree burn, wikimedia commons

fix
When you fix an item, you repair it.
The maintenance man was called in to fix the broken dishwasher.
Our pets are not so lucky. If you fix a dog or cat, you either castrate or spay them.
The young veterinarian in the small town did not like to fix animals.

flog
If you flog someone, you beat them severely with a whip or rod.
The guard ‘s job to flog the prisoners to death satisfied his murderous tendencies.
But if you flog a book, you publicize it aggressively.
The determined author hired several people to flog her book.

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