contrast

verb
con·​trast | \ kən-ˈtrast , ˈkän-ˌtrast \
contrasted; contrasting; contrasts

Definition of contrast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to set off in contrast : compare or appraise in respect to differences Contrast European and American manners. Contrast the two major characters of the novel. often used with to or with contrasting the painter with her contemporaries

intransitive verb

: to form a contrast

contrast

noun
con·​trast | \ ˈkän-ˌtrast \

Definition of contrast (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : juxtaposition of dissimilar elements (such as color, tone, or emotion) in a work of art
b : degree of difference between the lightest and darkest parts of a picture
2a : the difference or degree of difference between things having similar or comparable natures the contrast between the two forms of government
b : comparison of similar objects to set off their dissimilar qualities By contrast with newer models, the computer operates slowly. : the state of being so compared In contrast to the other estimates, his was very high.
3 : a person or thing that exhibits differences when compared with another The gentle girl is a contrast to the arrogant woman.

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Other Words from contrast

Verb

contrastable \ kən-​ˈtra-​stə-​bəl , ˈkän-​ˌtra-​ \ adjective
contrastingly \ kən-​ˈtra-​stiŋ-​lē , ˈkän-​ˌtra-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for contrast

Verb

compare, contrast, collate mean to set side by side in order to show differences and likenesses. compare implies an aim of showing relative values or excellences by bringing out characteristic qualities whether similar or divergent. compared the convention facilities of the two cities contrast implies an emphasis on differences. contrasted the computerized system with the old filing cards collate implies minute and critical inspection in order to note points of agreement or divergence. data from districts around the country will be collated

Examples of contrast in a Sentence

Verb

Her black dress and the white background contrast sharply. We compared and contrasted the two characters of the story.

Noun

I observed an interesting contrast in the teaching styles of the two women. Careful contrast of the twins shows some differences. In contrast to last year's profits, the company is not doing very well. The queen's wit and humor made the prince seem dull by contrast. They spent millions of dollars on advertising. By way of contrast, our small company spent under 5,000 dollars.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The scorched nature of the first stage is striking in the images above, all the more so because of the pure black interstage, which contrasts with the pristine white upper stage and payload fairing at the top of the rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Singed and sooty, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket still looked brilliant Monday," 4 Dec. 2018 Seattle’s run to the 2013 Super Bowl included a Thursday night visit to Arizona that contrasted greatly with the one four years later. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Introducing, the top 5 Thursday Night Football moments in the Pete Carroll era of Seahawks history," 14 Nov. 2018 Nadine Lavan, a neuroscience researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London (England, not Ontario), worked on a study that contrasted the two types of laughter, and found that each activated a different neural network. Popular Mechanics, "Can You Tell Someone's Nationality From Their Laugh?," 9 Aug. 2018 The choice of contrasting brights was an unusual one for the Duchess, as she can normally be seen in a more understated and demure color palette of nudes, black and navy—particularly when on official royal duties. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Bright Purple and Red Look Had a Sweet Connection to Princess Diana," 15 Jan. 2019 The contrasting shades create dimension that makes your lips look hella full. Seventeen.com Editors, Seventeen, "50 Life-Changing Prom Beauty Tips You Haven't Heard Before," 19 Dec. 2018 Garish signs gleamed from every building, one over the other in tapestries of contrasting calligraphy. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 Maggie Fowler takes on two contrasting roles as Bobby's mother and a Nevada cowboy. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 24 Apr. 2018 Two seemingly contrasting studies are at the heart of the controversy. Natasha Gilbert, Science | AAAS, "European Union debates controversial plans to limit cadmium in fertilizer," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In contrast to what gamblers are placing their bets on, many critics think Rami's spot-on imitation of Freddie Mercury will, in fact, lead to him winning the category. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "See if Your 2019 Golden Globe Predictions Match Up With the Projected Winners," 5 Jan. 2019 The concise and very casual nature of the conversation is often used in contrast to the tone of the scene or what is being said. Michael Moore, The Verge, "The Haunted Island: a Frog Detective Game is a farcical tale of ghosts, vacations to Indonesia, and overzealous dental care," 23 Dec. 2018 In contrast to the cheers and excitement that often accompany royal arrivals, there was a respectful silence from the small crowd today as William and Kate stepped out of their car upon arriving at the King Power Stadium. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Made a Somber Visit to Leicester Today," 28 Nov. 2018 In contrast to the president’s sharp words, Trump was hosted at a number of opulent events, including an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle later Friday. Jill Colvin And Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump praises May after throwing barbs, then meets the queen," 13 July 2018 In contrast to the arrangement with the Liberal Democrats, this is not a formal coalition government. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: Britain’s prime minister takes charge of cabinet," 13 July 2018 The multiracial Californian turned Floridian also looks and sounds like America would like to look and sound (in contrast to the pasty and inarticulate incumbent) if America were an action figure. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "The Rock Rules Out 2020 Run," 12 July 2018 In contrast to O’Rourke, Cruz’s fundraising apparatus includes his re-election campaign, a joint fundraising committee and a leadership PAC. Kevin Diaz And Jeremy Wallace, San Antonio Express-News, "Beto O’Rourke sets new fundraising records," 12 July 2018 In contrast to the 16,000 ticks sent in by volunteers, researchers like Nieto often pick up only 100 ticks apiece when out in the field collecting them for study. NBC News, "'Citizen scientists' take on growing threat of tick-borne diseases," 12 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of contrast

Verb

1646, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for contrast

Verb and Noun

French contraster, from Middle French, to oppose, resist, alteration of contrester, from Vulgar Latin *contrastare, from Latin contra- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for contrast

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contrast

The first known use of contrast was in 1646

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More Definitions for contrast

contrast

verb

English Language Learners Definition of contrast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be different especially in a way that is very obvious
: to compare (two people or things) to show how they are different

contrast

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contrast (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is different from another thing
: a difference between people or things that are being compared
: the act of comparing people or things to show the differences between them

contrast

verb
con·​trast | \ kən-ˈtrast \
contrasted; contrasting

Kids Definition of contrast

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to show noticeable differences Red contrasts with black.
2 : to compare two persons or things so as to show the differences between them Contrast the styles of these two authors.

contrast

noun
con·​trast | \ ˈkän-ˌtrast \

Kids Definition of contrast (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something that is different from another Today's weather is quite a contrast to yesterday's.
2 : difference or the amount of difference (as in color or brightness) between parts a photo with good contrast
3 : difference or amount of difference between related or similar things the contrast between summer and winter

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More from Merriam-Webster on contrast

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contrast

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contrast

Spanish Central: Translation of contrast

Nglish: Translation of contrast for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contrast for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contrast

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