A Drove of Draws

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms. A contronym is a word with two or more opposite meanings, making it its own antonym. Click here to find out more about these quirky words.
Molly with the letter DThe featured contronym for the letter D is draw. I thought buckle and clip had a lot of definitions, but draw blows them all away. With so many definitions for one small word, I’m sure there are several meanings that could be considered opposites.
When I was searching for contronyms, one place listed draw with the definitions ‘to open’ or ‘to shut,’ as in drawing the curtains can mean to open them or to shut them. After reading the various definitions for draw, however, I think both of those fall under the definition ‘to cause to move in a particular direction by or as if by a pulling force; pull; drag.' You might pull the drapes open or you might pull them shut, but that doesn’t really make this context of draw have opposite meanings because you are pulling regardless of the direction.
But going down the list I did find a few meanings I thought were opposites:
To contract, shrink
~ or ~
to pull out, stretch
~ and ~
To bring together
~ or ~
To pull apart
Essentially both these meaning pairs have to do with movement – moving inward or moving outward – it’s just that the perspectives are slightly different. Here is a color-coded super-short kind-of-gruesome story to illustrate various meanings of draw:
The advertisement offering free iPads draws a huge crowd abuzz with excitement about their good fortune. But their excitement turns to fear when aliens surround the prey caught by their trap. As the slimy green creatures draw closer, the crowd draws together for protection. The aliens reach in, drawing members from out the huddle. They play with their food like little kids. Who knew the human body could be drawn so far until it rips? The screams soon subside as this tale of greed draws to a close.
Hmmm... not really a prize-winning story there, but it does draw attention to the word draw. And since there are so many meanings for draw, I threw in a few extras that have nothing to do with the contronym connotations.
Are you familiar with contronyms? There are other ‘D’ contronyms out there, can you think of any? How Darling is Molly with her letter D?
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Jamie Dement (LadyJai)'s picture

I'm loving these! :) The other day I was talking with the family about oxymorons (love these, and now loving contronyms!) The questions posed to me was "if oxymoron is two contradictory words stuck togeter to form a new phrase, what iis it called when you stick stuck two words together that mean the same thing?" I said "redundant" but I'm sure there is a grammar word out there, much like oxymoron and contronym. :)

Thanks for sharing these! I do hope you will be keeping them all in one place to revisit again later! This A to Z thing has me going "ooooo shiney" and missing so many blogs I want to revisit :)


Printed Portal's picture

Interesting theme - Just been catching up with your posts and I am learning a lot. Will be back for more :)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Jamie - Oxymorons are fun, too. I love all the quirk in language. And yes, I'll be posting an uber list at the end of the challenge.

Printed Portal - Thanks! My hope was to educate and entertain. At least I know I have the education part covered. :-)

sharon sant's picture

A fascinating post.  Language is such a complex and delightful thing!

Poke The Rock's picture

This just blew my mind, I never had an high aptitude for languages so i understand what you are saying but I hope I never have to epxlain it to anyone!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Sharon - Thanks!

Poke the Rock - I know! I couldn't believe it when I first discovered contronyms a few months ago.

Wayne's picture

What a fun theme you are having here. May just have to play with these in my classroom. Stratoz goes AtoZ

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Wayne - Thanks! I wonder why it's not taught in school? It's so fun, but I'd never heard of it until a few months ago.

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