Noun > Antipathy

Noun > Antipathy

If we have sympathy for others, we feel for them: our feelings are aligned with them.

But if we have antipathy for others, we feel against them.

The word “antipathy” has roots that mean “feeling against.”

Someone’s antipathy for something is their feeling of strong dislike toward it.

In other words, if you have an antipathy to (or toward, or for) something, you really, really don’t like it.

Part of speech:
Noun, both the countable kind (“he feels an antipathy toward it”) and the uncountable kind (“he feels antipathy toward it”).

Other forms:
You can make it plural: “antipathies.”

The adjective forms are all pretty rare: “antipathic,” “antipathetic,” and “antipathetical.”

how to use it:
The word “antipathy” is a formal, serious one. It helps us be precise while avoiding the words “hate” and “hatred,” which are often far too strong.

We usually stick it after a possessive pronoun: “his antipathy,” “her antipathy,” “their antipathy for this.”

And we usually follow it with the word “to,” “toward,” or “for:” “her antipathy to marriage,” “his antipathy toward religious indoctrination,” “their antipathy for romantic comedy movies.”

But you can leave those words out if your meaning is clear: “They aren’t listening to him, and they’re not even hiding their antipathy.”

Notice how we use “antipathy” to label the kind of dislike that persists: the kind that lasts for a long time, or the kind that’s a basic part of someone’s personality: “his antipathy toward cats,” “her antipathy for dogs,” “their antipathy to bland vegetables;” “He’s always felt an antipathy toward the wasting of food.”

“I was quite religious, and the party’s antipathy to religion put me off.”
— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 1994

“Another barrier to using genetic-engineering methods to produce new varieties of tea is the public’s antipathy to genetically modified food.”
— Elie Dolgin, Nature, 6 February 2019