Antiphrasis Examples


Antiphrasis is literally the use of a word or phrase in a way that is opposite of what it really means. Anitphrasis is used in sarcasm and irony.

Examples of Antiphrasis:

You ate the spaghetti even though you knew it was cooked three weeks ago? Very smart.

Thanks for spraying me with water when I just spent an hour doing my hair. You are such a funny guy.

Pickles, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream-yum, sounds delicious!

Our team refers to Mark, a huge offensive lineman, as tiny.

Examples of Antiphrasis from Literature

In Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, Cassius describes Caesar as a god at the same time he is calling him a coward:

I did mark how he did shake.... tis true this god did shake... His coward lips did from their color fly."

Also in Julius Caesar, Antony calls Brutus' honor into question, while he ironically refers to him as "honorable":

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

Related Links:
Literary Terms Examples