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

This Puffed Rice Salad is a dish that follows those principles of contrasting flavors and bold textures. Nik Sharma, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: Puffed Rice Salad With Date Syrup & Lime Dressing," 1 July 2019 Let the rubber cement solidify, then dip the egg into a second cup of contrasting dye. Stephanie Shore Fisher, Good Housekeeping, "How to Dye Easter Eggs with Food Coloring and Rubber Cement," 11 Mar. 2019 The couple went for a trendy look by contrasting dark wicker with white fabrics. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "6 Ways Eric and Jessie James Decker Turned Their House Into a Cozy Oasis," 2 Feb. 2019 Storaro and the film’s art designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti (both longtime collaborators with Bertolucci) drew upon the 16th-century artist Caravaggio, and his famous use of contrasting light and darkness. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018 All the silk pochettes in the case are made by the same house in Milan, Bigi, all knitted, not woven, in dark colors with contrasting borders. Andre Aciman, Town & Country, "How Andre Aciman Lost His Head Over a Pocket Square," 24 Sep. 2018 The 58-year-old former surgeon is locked in a remarkably close GOP gubernatorial primary with Kris Kobach in a battle of contrasting political styles. John Hanna, The Seattle Times, "Disputed primary pits low-key governor against flashy rival," 13 Aug. 2018 And there was a refresh of his Champion sportswear pieces in subtle Malibu tones, like the hoodie with contrasting sleeves in sandy brown and pale pink. Vincent Boucher, The Hollywood Reporter, "New York Men’s Fashion Week Ends on High Note with Todd Snyder Show," 12 July 2018 That contrasts with some online consumer forums, which are replete with complaints about Precision practices. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "'Garage-Door Guy' who stiffed Arizona customers caught in 2011 'Dateline NBC' sting," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Boutique lenders, by contrast, will accept a piece of art as sole collateral. The Economist, "Borrowing against art is growing at a stunning rate," 6 July 2019 The United States, by contrast, had a meager 300 buses in 2018. Kellen Browning, BostonGlobe.com, "Sick of the subway? Try one of the MBTA’s new electric buses, coming this summer," 30 June 2019 Humans, by contrast, get radiation sickness at doses of 0.5 gray and are killed by 5 gray. Richard A. Lovett, Science | AAAS, "Space station mold survives 200 times the radiation dose that would kill a human," 28 June 2019 Both of those draw strong contrasts not only with President Trump but with the trends in enforcement that preceded Trump (many of which peaked under President Obama). Dara Lind, Vox, "Why Julián Castro started a Democratic debate fight over repealing “Section 1325”," 27 June 2019 By contrast, in Central Florida, the latest homeless census counted 2,010 people, including 102 who have completed the region’s application process and are ready to move into their own place — if only a place were available. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "Seminole’s Warley Park — is this the new model for homeless housing?," 27 June 2019 By contrast, Trayanum could be the top recruit in Arizona State's class. Matt Goul, cleveland.com, "Hoban RB DeaMonte Trayanum commits to Arizona State," 26 June 2019 By contrast, 18% of this age group had a negative perspective, describing their health as fair (14%) or poor (4%). Judith Graham, chicagotribune.com, "Why so many older Americans rate their health as good or excellent," 26 June 2019 The Holy Bible, by contrast, sounded harsh and claustrophobic; listening to it felt like being trapped in the bowels of a giant machine, surrounded by clanking pistons and rattling rivets and vats of bubbling oil. Longreads, "Manic Street Preachers’ Album The Holy Bible," 25 June 2019

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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