In English, there are weird words and there are weirder words. Did you know that some English words have two meanings that are the opposite of each other?

These words are called contronyms. According to Grammarly, a contronym is "a word that evokes contradictory or reverse meanings depending on the context."

Dust the muffins with icing sugar.

Here's a list of popular contronyms. Add them to your English vocabulary to boost your English skills!

1. dust – to remove fine dry powder from something or to put fine dry powder on something

Clean your room. Make sure to dust the shelves.
Dust the muffins with icing sugar.

2. lease – to offer property for rent or to pay to use the property

Gary leases his apartment to short-term stayers.
Tanya is leasing her apartment from Mrs. López at $500 a month.

3. left – went away from a place or remained in a place that everyone went away from

I left the party early because I was tired.
By midnight, only a few people were left at the party.

Bob has a small Boeing 747 on his desk. He collects airplane models.

4. model – something that everyone has to copy or a copy

Sarah is an excellent worker. She is a model for the company's employees.
Bob has a small Boeing 747 on his desk. He collects airplane models.

5. seed – to put parts of plants in the ground so new plants can grow or to remove these parts from a fruit or a vegetable

They seeded the ground with corn.
Seed the watermelon before serving it.

6. citation – an award for good behavior or a penalty for bad behavior

The mayor gave the police officer a citation for her bravery.
Jim received a citation for reckless driving.

7. sanction – to give official permission to someone to do something or to punish someone for doing something

My boss sanctioned the purchase of new computer equipment.
The city sanctioned Mr. Samson for his failure to keep his lawn clean.

To learn more contronyms, check out these articles on Daily Writing Tips and Grammarly.

Keep working on your English vocabulary! It's a great way to improve your English communication skills.

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