con·​tra·​dis·​tinc·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-di-ˈstiŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce contradistinction (audio) \

Definition of contradistinction

: distinction by means of contrast painting in contradistinction to sculpture

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Other Words from contradistinction

contradistinctive \ ˌkän-​trə-​di-​ˈstiŋ(k)-​tiv How to pronounce contradistinctive (audio) \ adjective
contradistinctively adverb

Examples of contradistinction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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, "The Cambrian explosion was caused by a lack of oxygen, not an abundance," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contradistinction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of contradistinction

1647, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for contradistinction

The first known use of contradistinction was in 1647

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Comments on contradistinction

What made you want to look up contradistinction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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