Antonyms for matches

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


King Henry often looked in on these matches, and did honour to the winners.

America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility.

He went to the mantel-shelf and brought the box of matches from it.

"He went up into the organ-loft in search of a candle and matches," remarked the bishop.

He might have known, had he possessed any sense, that candles and matches are not likely to be there in summer-time!

Miss Briscoe was flitting about the room, hunting for matches.

I saw that they were cutting their matches and arranging their priming.'

But, as you value your peace of mind, do not fool with matches.

Sue had stolen some matches and was using them as Jackstraws.

To calm himself he sat down in the sledge and got out his cigarettes and matches.


"stick for striking fire," late 14c., macche, "wick of a candle or lamp," from Old French meiche "wick of a candle," from Vulgar Latin *micca/*miccia (cf. Catalan metxa, Spanish mecha, Italian miccia), probably ultimately from Latin myxa, from Greek myxa "lamp wick," originally "mucus," based on notion of wick dangling from the spout of a lamp like snot from a nostril, from PIE root *meug- "slimy, slippery" (see mucus). Modern spelling is from mid-15c. (English snot also had a secondary sense of "snuff of a candle, burnt part of a wick" from late 14c., surviving at least to late 19c. in northern dialects.)

Meaning "piece of cord or splinter of wood soaked in sulfur, used for lighting fires, lamps, candles, etc." is from 1530. First used 1831 for the modern type of wooden friction match, and competed with lucifer for much of 19c. as the name for this invention.