contrast

verb
con·​trast | \ kən-ˈtrast How to pronounce contrast (audio) , ˈkän-ˌtrast How to pronounce contrast (audio) \
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 How to pronounce contrast (audio) \

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 How to pronounce contrastable (audio) , ˈkän-​ˌtra-​ \ adjective
contrastingly \ kən-​ˈtra-​stiŋ-​lē How to pronounce contrastingly (audio) , 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

Meghan attended the private, all-girls Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, so the experience definitely contrasted with her education. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "20 Facts About Meghan Markle's Life Before She Met Prince Harry," 15 Apr. 2019 To contrast the green tones on her eyes, Mayo topped Lizzo's cheeks with a tangerine blush, specifically the Make Up For Ever Second Skin Cream Blush in 515 Tangerine. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Lizzo Paired Drugstore Lashes With Neon Green Makeup at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards," 29 Mar. 2019 Neuebauer's comparative study of the brothers gives Wardle the opportunity to contrast them himself. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Triplets ripped from family in a Nazi-like experiment, probed in Three Identical Strangers," 5 July 2018 Newsom and his labor and corporate supporters have released television ads that purport to contrast the Republican businessman's record on issues such as guns with the Democratic lieutenant governor. Seema Mehta, latimes.com, "New poll finds a volatile race for second place in California governor's contest," 22 May 2018 Ceremony’s branding contrasts sharply with that of other jewelry companies, which default to the traditional, heteronormative storyline. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Will 2020 Be the Year the Bridal Market Finally Gets Modern?," 9 Apr. 2019 The return date contrasts with the previous seasons’ April debuts and puts the drama outside the eligibility window for this year’s Emmy Awards. Lynn Elber, The Seattle Times, "Resistance is key as ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ returns for season 3," 11 Feb. 2019 Paint your terra cotta pot and saucer, adding a heart accent in a contrasting color. Stephanie Shore Fisher, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Punny Valentine's Day Plants," 4 Feb. 2019 Apple's actions contrasted with slower responses from Facebook and Twitter. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Tim Cook: Apple won’t tolerate white supremacists, conspiracy theorists," 4 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In contrast, as ITV's Chris Ship noted on Twitter this morning, plans for the birth of Prince Louis were shared with the media two months prior to his birth. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle's Birth Plan Will Differ from Kate Middleton's," 11 Apr. 2019 The contrast stripe cotton seersucker piece comes from designer Ulla Johnson, and is actually wide leg jumpsuit rather than a dress. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes' Striped Ulla Johnson Jumpsuit is the Perfect Start to Your Summer Wardrobe," 1 Apr. 2019 Ombrés, low-contrast marbleized prints, and tonal faux suedes will bring depth to room without stealing the spotlight. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "Interior Designers Predict the Next Major Wallpaper Trends," 12 Mar. 2019 Photo: Getty Friday’s employment report was a study in contrasts, showing that hiring slowed last month but that the unemployment rate fell and wage growth picked up. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "What If This Jobs Report Is no Fluke?," 8 Mar. 2019 Each is defined by contrasts through three covetable colorways: all-black with a shock of white trim or black and tan are the options for leather; and a tan and deep brown style is what’s available in suede. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 100-Year-Old German Art School That’s Still Influencing the Fashion World," 13 Feb. 2019 Each is defined by contrasts through three covetable colorways: all-black with a shock of white trim or black and tan are the options for leather; and a tan and deep brown style is what’s available in suede. Todd Plummer, Town & Country, "One Century Later, Bauhaus Is Still a Major Fashion Influence," 13 Feb. 2019 For variety, try rick rack trim ($12, amazon.com) or two different types of paper for contrast. 6. Stephanie Shore Fisher, Good Housekeeping, "How to Turn a Pringles Can Into a Christmas Cookie Container," 29 Nov. 2018 The projector connects to Apple TV to stream movies and shows across the front wall, which is painted gray to hide any imperfections without diminishing the projection's color contrast. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Airiness in craftsman-style home creates inviting, family-centered space," 5 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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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 How to pronounce contrast (audio) \
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 How to pronounce contrast (audio) \

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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