con·​tra·​dis·​tinc·​tion ˌkän-trə-di-ˈstiŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce contradistinction (audio)
: distinction by means of contrast
painting in contradistinction to sculpture
contradistinctive adjective
contradistinctively adverb

Examples of contradistinction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The similarity between the family tree of trauma and that of humanity itself cannot be ignored: in both—and in contradistinction to those of other species as a rule—initial diversity is pruned away until only one exemplar remains. Will Self, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 This is in contradistinction to the comic book version, created by writer Peter Hogan and artist Steve Parkhouse. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 6 Feb. 2021 That is in contradistinction to Cambrian fossils, among which are found representatives of all the main animal groups (annelids, arthropods, brachiopods, chordates, cnidarians, echinoderms, molluscs and so on) that are around today. The Economist, 7 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'contradistinction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of contradistinction was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near contradistinction

Cite this Entry

“Contradistinction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!