Old 04-14-2002, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 279
Need an antonym

I've checked m-w.com and went through my big thesaurus but I really haven't found any antonyms that fit what I'm looking for.
The word is "ideal" and I'm looking for an antonym for it that doesn't mean "actual". I'm thinking of "ideal" in the sense of "zenith" and the antonym meaning "nadir", the worst possible concept.
Old 04-14-2002, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Winslow, ME
Posts: 6,322
Practical? Down-to-Earth?
Old 04-14-2002, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 279
Hrm, no like "ideal" is the best. What would be the worst.
Old 04-14-2002, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 4,394
Can you give us the sentence? That might help.
Old 04-14-2002, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Peripheral Vision
Posts: 962
Worst. What's wrong with the word "worst"? Seems to me that you answered your own question.
Old 04-14-2002, 11:04 AM
Mod Rocker
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,438
You're not going to get a direct antonym in the sense that you want, because ideal's opposite is the actual or the concrete. The notion that the ideal is the superlative or best is an associatiated meaning, not a direct one.

You have already noted nadir.
You might use a phrase including antithertical or refer to something as the epitome of evil/stupidity/badness/whatever.

Depending on your context, you might try delusion or illusion (in the sense of a misleading ideal.
Old 04-14-2002, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: ...and around the corner
Posts: 1,426
Perhaps "dystopian" is what you're looking for, meaning the opposite of utopian or idyllic.

And if you're going to follow Tom's suggestion, it's spelled "antithetical." However I've always known that word to mean "inimical" more than "nadir".
Old 04-14-2002, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Near London, UK.
Posts: 4,202
I go with con template. Where 'ideal' means 'best' (as opposed to non-real) then the antonym is 'worst'.
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