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 poet implicitly contrasts the public and private spheres. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Words to Probe Our Deepest Thoughts," 6 July 2018 Chavern and others contrasted this approach to Facebook’s, particularly in the past few years. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Apple Tries to Avoid Facebook's Mistakes With 2018 Midterms," 26 June 2018 The following week, the red of the visiting Chiefs’ fans glaringly contrasted with L.A.’s fans' blue. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Chargers Are Ready to Claim Their Piece of the Los Angeles Sports Market," 20 June 2018 Cherney contrasted that scene with United States practice: new parents can’t leave the hospital without a regulation car seat. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The secrets of sleep deprivation: DadLab offers new fathers wisdom in the company of men," 12 June 2018 His openness to Putin, and his willingness to accept narratives favored by the Kremlin, contrasted strongly with not only his Republican opponents but also with the Obama administration. Chris Massie And Andrew Kaczynski, CNN, "Trump's lawyer falsely claimed in 2017 interview that Trump Organization had no recent activity in Russia," 15 May 2018 Israeli newspapers on Tuesday, contrasted the upbeat inauguration ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem with pictures of the violence on the border but couched it in terms of the country protecting itself. Anchorage Daily News, "Toll for Gaza protests rises to 61 as baby dies from tear gas, with more protests expected," 15 May 2018 While there’s a beauty in the simplicity of its narrative, contrasted by the complexity of grief through which O’Barr was inspired by- a result of his own personal tragedy, The Crow has been one of the most challenging films for Hollywood to remake. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'The Crow' Should Not Fly Again," 31 May 2018 The minimal white interior is contrasted with forest green murals painted in the Mughal style. Kristin Tice Studeman, Vogue, "9 Design Week Tastemakers on the Most Insta-Worthy Hotels Around the World," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My 2017 minivan, by contrast, just has a giant touch screen, on which different submenus must be selected to alter the cabin temperature, view navigation, or change radio channels. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Driving Without a Smartphone," 10 July 2018 Even calling Jesus the Son of God originally stood in specific contrast to the leaders of Rome, who demanded they be known by that very title. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 These bright sparks make a stark contrast to the remaining bed-blockers in the cabinet, whose records are poor. The Economist, "A quiet revolution in Theresa May’s cabinet," 12 July 2018 Gold and pink shimmers with an accent of mint shadow for a totally Instagrammable contrast. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Smashbox Teamed Up with Influencer Jasmine Sanders to Launch 7 New Mini Eye Palettes," 11 July 2018 Those images are in direct contrast to the words that tell you about the risks. Neil Senturia, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Why don't we heed risk warnings?," 9 July 2018 His support for law enforcement and strong borders draws a serious contrast with the left, who want open borders and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished. Naperville Sun, "Letters to the Editor: Time for moderate views to take center stage, too many anti-Trump opinions in paper, more," 6 July 2018 Orange and yellow, green and orange, the actual colors don’t matter as much as just having a nice visual contrast. Emily Spicer, San Antonio Express-News, "The most summery of salads: Tomatoes 2 ways," 4 July 2018 Its undulating pitches appear to echo the surrounding hills—their shape a lovely geometric contrast to the simple wooden facade. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Rooftop solar panels power this school and 50 homes," 2 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

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

Noun

see contrast entry 1

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Statistics for contrast

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

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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Comments on contrast

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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