We’re moving next to the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air. So … contronyms are words that have contradictory meanings (sanctiion = approve and disapprove; homophones sound alike but to not mean the same—and often are not spelled the same, either.
1. dire (adj.): very bad, causing great fear or worry; very urgent
2. dyer (noun): one who works with dye
The situation—very dire.
His patent would so soon expire,
And everyone could be a dyer.
He wished he had much better planned—
Could see his factory expand.
He liked its name—The Dyer’s Hand.
Or, sure, he stole that from the Bard—
Some sonnet (reading it was hard)—
But now his life would soon be jarred.
“Oh well,” he thought, “It could be worse.
I’ve really had no cause to curse.”
He shuddered when he saw the hearse.
“Thank goodness, that is not for me!”
He said. It stopped right by his knee.
“Oh, well—to be or not to be!”
And off he rode into a scene
Where he turned very, very green
And slid into a fire machine.
He had a grave you could admire—
And singing there, a gifted choir
That sang in praise of Old Man Dyer.