What do you call something that's the inverse of something? I am asking, because there are many different ways something can be the inverse of something, but what if inverse meant for example "opposite of X and opposite of Y" as in "tall and arrogant" versus "short and humble"?

For example:

The man is tall and arrogant and the ___ of that would be much better for this movie role.

I think "inverse" and "opposite" can fit here, but is there a more serious word or phrase for it? I am thinking of writing an essay and I can't remember a phrase or a word that can substitute it. "Opposite" and "inverse" sound too informal, although the example sentence is informal too when it should have been formal.

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    Unfortunately, there is no regular way to define "opposite" so it applies to anything. Opposition is always in a dimension, like up/down or big/small; but most words have a number of dimensions, and they may not be opposable. What is the opposite of thumb, for example -- finger or great toe? What is the opposite of nose? And if opposite is vague, inverse, converse, and contrapositive are incomprehensible. Jul 31, 2019 at 23:00
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    Any number of synonyms could work. What you have looked at, rejected, and why? Aug 1, 2019 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


What do you call something that's the inverse of something?

I am not quite sure what you are looking for as there are a few alternative answers. A noun would be oposite or from your description, possibly more accurately would be exact opposite. It could also be flip side

However, we could also use idioms like

like chalk and cheese, Yin and Yang, mirror image, poles apart, the other side of the coin.

I think the most commonly used phrase would be the complete opposite

I'm nothing more than what you actually see, but I am also the complete opposite. Keren Ann

In the old days rank was not important - The complete opposite of today. You just trained Higa Yuchoku

People have this idea of me being some kind of monster, and that's the complete opposite of who I am. PJ Harvey


inverse noun: something of a contrary nature or quality : OPPOSITE, >REVERSE Merriam-Webster

exact opposite noun Definition of exact opposite: the complete opposite

He used to be romantic, but now he's the exact opposite.Merriam-Webster

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