Ready to Root

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is contronyms, which 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 RThere are a lot of R contronyms on the various lists, but I think some of them are practically cheating. Some previous words on the lists have kind of twisted and stretched the definitions in order to make them contronyms, but several of these examples barely qualify as the same word because they are just adding 're' to the front of other words. For example: release (let go) versus re-lease (hold on to) and resign (quit a contract) versus re-sign (sign a contract again). There were a few more like these, and I don't really think they count. So for my featured R contronym, I picked one that truly has opposite meanings: root.
Root - to implant or establish deeply
~ or ~
Root - to pull up or remove completely
Diana rooted a cutting from her grandmother's prized rose bush in order to always have a reminder of the woman's gentle soul . . .
Planting a seedling
. . . but tenacious weeds threatened to overwhelm the fragile planting, so Diana rooted out the interlopers in a vicious frenzy of curse words and dripping sweat.
Pulling a weed
And with the events of the past week, I thought I'd add one on a more serious note.
Sometimes evil roots itself into the hearts and minds of petty people, and that's when brave men and women step forward to help root evil from society, whether it's by heroically putting themselves in the path of danger or performing acts of kindness that remind us of the true human spirit.
Tree with heart roots
Are you familiar with contronyms? Can you think of examples of other ‘R’ contronyms? How Relaxed is Molly with her letter R?

Planting seedling image courtesy of domdeen /

Pulling weed image courtesy of domdeen /

Tree-heart image courtesy of Archipoch /


John Wiswell's picture

My family is out gardening right now. Rooting around in the garden. A good contronym choice!

Deniz's picture

Love the descriptions you used for the two separate meanings!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

John - I'm at my brother's house this weekend, and we were just out in his garden. I told him he needed to read my post for today.

Deniz - Thanks! I picked root because the descriptions popped in my head almost immediately.

Patricia Lynne's picture

The first one reminded me of my mom. She likes to garden and plant flowers every spring.

Alex J. Cavanaugh's picture

Root - that's a good one.

I'd count the re- words. The difference is only a dash.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar's picture

Greetings human, Jocelyn,

Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!   I'm glad I've visited your blog.  This a fascinating

theme.   A root cause I see within your posting.  And the roots of evil shall wither and die.  Peace and hope, my human friend.

With Reservation, I must go now.  Almost three in the morning.


Pawsitive wishes,



Jocelyn Rish's picture

Patricia - My brother got his love of plants from my mom who got it from her dad. I like to look at them, but have the opposite of a green thumb.

Alex - I gave the re- words the side eye because most of them ended up pronounced differently even if they were technically spelled the same.

Penny - As you can see from the pictures on my blog, I'm kind of cuckoo for canines, so I'm honored to have a visit from you.

Sheethal's picture

I loved the pics and the way you explaained it. The word can be related so much to my mother, who loved gardening! :)

Connie Gruning's picture

Excellent post!!  I love the definitions.  


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eileen ludwig's picture

Visiting from the a to z challenge - very interesting word root and the many ways and meanings you you used it Visit

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Sheethal - Thanks. And my mom loves her plants, too.

Connie and Eileen - Thank you, I'm having fun with the contronyms.

Wayne's picture

Roots are fascinating. They are the greatest part of plants, but keep their secrets hid underground. Stratoz goes from A to Z

Jocelyn Rish's picture

I'd never thought about it that way - plants keep their true strength hidden.

Courtney Turner's picture

Clever. I often use the term uproot instead but root makes sense too. There is also rooting for someone or something. Not sure what the contronym of that would be.

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