Writers and other word nerds love language, with all its idiosyncrasies and peculiarities. One category of language oddities are contronyms, words which mean their opposite--auto-antonyms also called contronyms. Confused yet?
Author and friend, Braden Bell, (The Roadshow, The Kindling), shared this list with me some months ago, and I thought it was worth passing on. Dazzle your family members at supper tonight. There's a link at the bottom that leads to site with others, but can you name some more without looking? Here goes. Enjoy!
Cleave: to adhere or hold together , i.e. "cleave to your wife"
to separate, sever or split apart: he cut the meat
with a heavy cleaver; think cleft palate, cleft hooves.
give official authorization or approval
to penalize for
violating a moral principle or law.
screen: to obscure or hide
to show or review
dust: to clean up particles
sprinkle or cover with
buckle: to fasten
temper: water down or moderate
make harder or
wear: to deteriorate by use
to stand up to
apology: admit fault
give a defense or explanation
Here is a list of a lot more: