There is a verb that has two synonyms, that happen to be antonyms... can you find it?
The most well known of such Janus words of the verb variety is "sanction", meaning "to allow" or "to prohibit (or punish)".
Other such words include "cleave", meaning "to join" (as in "cleave to") or "to separate or divide", and "clip" meaning "to attach" or "to separate".
Also: "rent" and "lease": If you rent a cottage, does that mean you let someone use it who gives you money, or does it mean you give someone money so you can use it.
If you Google "Janus words" there are several sites that have other examples--some not as good (exact antonyms) as these, but also adding nouns and other parts of speech.
Posted by Charlie
on 2005-01-28 15:57:29