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

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 Champion's story contrasts with testimony Monday by Caudle and claims by the lawyers who represent both Caudle and Tellis in the unrelated cases. Jeff Amy, Fox News, "Judge won't sanction prosecutor over inmate tampering claim," 10 July 2018 In the living room, a mustard-yellow sofa pulls from details in a Selena Beaudry painting; in the family room, a lavender ceiling contrasts with a bright chartreuse ostrich-egg installation. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "This Beach House Features the Most Surprisingly Awesome Color Combinations," 4 Mar. 2019 Mulvaney, a staunch conservative, certainly contrasts with a choice like Chris Christie, a blue-state governor who may have been better-suited to dealing with a new Democratic House of Representatives. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Trump names Mick Mulvaney acting White House chief of staff," 15 Dec. 2018 That contrasts with former Mayor Michael Nutter, who at times supported the sanctuary city approach to immigration but ultimately buckled under pressure from then-President Barack Obama’s administration to abandon that policy. Chris Brennan, Philly.com, "Did Philly police just bike-doze Mayor Kenney's relationship with progressives?," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In contrast to Bayern, which had 27 efforts at goal, Dortmund created little going forward. Ciaran Fahey, The Seattle Times, "Bayern held to draw, Dortmund seizes Bundesliga lead," 30 Mar. 2019 His voice lived in contrast to his body, small and plaintive. Lena Dunham, Vogue, "Can a Good Man Mistreat You During Sex—If That’s What You Desire?," 18 Mar. 2019 By contrast, the court has invalidated many districts because of racial gerrymandering over the past 50 years. Gary D. Robertson, The Seattle Times, "A more skeptical Supreme Court to hear redistricting challenge," 25 Mar. 2019 By contrast, revenue growth is projected at 5.7%, leading to a 5.9% efficiency gap, the survey found. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Finance Teams Bet Technology Will Bridge Budget Gap," 5 Mar. 2019 By contrast, the 91st Academy Awards have already been an unmitigated disaster for months, and four days out from the ceremony itself, the Academy is still doing damage control in the wake of its numerous misguided attempts to shake things up. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kevin Hart, the "Popular" Film & Cancelled Categories: A Complete Timeline of the 2019 Oscar Drama," 21 Feb. 2019 By contrast, United is looking strong under unbeaten new coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with no major injuries. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "PSG missing Cavani for Champions League 1st leg v Man United," 10 Feb. 2019 Guo Pei’s bride, by contrast, was an heroic study of stillness. Jordan Roth, Vogue, "Jordan Roth: A Man’s View on the Haute Couture," 28 Jan. 2019 By contrast, digital transactions requiring a simple card swipe or wave of a smart device are typically fast and efficient. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 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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