Direct contrast; opposition. The direct or exact opposite: Hope is the antithesis of despair. A figure of speech in which sharply contrasting ideas are juxtaposed in a balanced or parallel phrase or grammatical structure, as in "Hee for God only, shee for God in him\u201d ( John Milton). The second and contrasting part of such a juxtaposition. The second stage of the Hegelian dialectic process, representing the opposite of the thesis.