contrarian

play
noun con·trar·i·an \kən-ˈtrer-ē-ən, kän-\

Definition of contrarian

  1. :  a person who takes a contrary position or attitude; specifically :  an investor who buys shares of stock when most others are selling and sells when others are buying

contrarian

adjective

contrarianism

play \kən-ˈtrer-ē-ə-ˌniz-əm, kän-\ noun

Examples of contrarian in a Sentence

  1. As an investor, he's a contrarian, preferring to buy stocks when most people are selling.

Recent Examples of contrarian from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Anyone who thinks that most of what the public believes is wrong would be called a contrarian. And contrarian is a basic term in the vocabulary of investing. In fact, most successful investors often behave like contrarians by "buying low and selling high"—that is, buying stocks that are cheap because most investors put a low value on them but that have the possibility of rising, and selling stocks that most investors are valuing highly but that seem likely to decline. The word may be most common as an adjective; so you may express a contrarian opinion, hold a contrarian view, or pursue a contrarian investment strategy.

Origin and Etymology of contrarian

see 1contrary


First Known Use: 1954


CONTRARIAN Defined for English Language Learners

contrarian

play
noun

Definition of contrarian for English Language Learners

  • : a person who takes an opposite or different position or attitude from other people

Learn More about contrarian


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to bile

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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