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 plenty contrasts with the pickings at school, where sweetly shy admirers such as Tommy (Simon Croker), who references Brokeback Mountain in class and is gauche enough to invite Sequin to a movie, fail to elicit much excitement. Harry Windsor, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sequin in a Blue Room': Film Review | Outfest 2019," 22 July 2019 Bellavia’s bluster on the battlefield contrasts with his refinement off it. Josiah Bates, Time, "This Medal of Honor Recipient Cleared a House of Iraqi Insurgents Single-Handed. TIME Was There," 24 June 2019 Ziff’s contract contrasts with the many informal pledges that have been announced over the years. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "In Europe, the Model Age Debate Rages On," 12 Apr. 2019 The white accessory contrasts sharply against the black walls. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "We toured HGTV’s 2019 Urban Oasis home in Minneapolis, which someone will win," 11 Sep. 2019 But that contrasted with another survey from the Conference Board, which showed only a slight dip in consumer confidence. NBC News, "Five political storylines to watch this fall," 3 Sep. 2019 That outlook contrasts sharply with Jumia’s early-day run on the New York Stock Exchange given a strong opening fortnight amid the novelty of its listing as the first major Africa-focused tech company on the exchange. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Jumia’s shares have dropped below its IPO price as speculators and shorts hover," 6 Aug. 2019 All of it contrasts painfully with the specificity of the name and date of death of the unseen migrant. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "“Best of Luck with the Wall” Puts the Borderlands Back in Context," 5 Aug. 2019 This lively woodland motif contrasts sharply with a plain, narrow concave channel and tightly curled ribbon pattern. Dallas News, "The centuries-old story behind a new artistic match at the Kimbell Art Museum," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Having a large share of reserves in metal can leave central banks overexposed to the movements of a single volatile asset, in contrast to a portfolio comprising a range of currencies and the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights. Washington Post, "Gold Won’t Solve Your Budget Problems," 18 Sep. 2019 In contrast to the traditional pattern of IPOs, in which fast-growing companies go public early on, many tech unicorns have chosen to stay private for years, raising billions in private rounds. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Why a Postponed WeWork IPO Wouldn’t Be Bad News for the IPO Market," 17 Sep. 2019 In contrast to the Spanish Baroque and French neo-classical buildings in Cuba, Marsh pays particular attention to his father’s Art Deco house, called the Battleship House for its militaristic design. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Painter Reginald Marsh’s tropical watercolors of Cuba at the Benton," 16 Sep. 2019 In contrast to the naval base, the prison zone resembles a battlefield-style operation. New York Times, "The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner," 16 Sep. 2019 And that is still in contrast to the pre-systems chemistry ideas, which would be one, then a second, then a third. Quanta Magazine, "Origin-of-Life Study Points to Chemical Chimeras, Not RNA," 16 Sep. 2019 In contrast to the Chula Vista event, there were no protesters. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Drag Queen Story Hour: glittery entertainment or gender-bending provocation?," 15 Sep. 2019 In contrast to Mahomes, Derek Carr, who had looked so good against Denver, struggled. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Fans’ anger with Raiders came as quickly as Chiefs’ second-quarter points," 15 Sep. 2019 In contrast to the offense-laden first half, the second half was marred with turnovers from both sides. Marco Cummings, The Denver Post, "Gavin Sawchuk scores twice to power Valor Christian past Pomona," 13 Sep. 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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