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contrast

verb con·trast \ kən-ˈtrast , ˈkän-ˌtrast \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of contrast

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

contrastable

play \kən-ˈtra-stə-bəl, ˈkän-ˌtra-\ adjective

contrastingly

play \kən-ˈtra-stiŋ-lē, ˈkän-ˌtra-\ adverb

Examples of contrast in a Sentence

  1. Her black dress and the white background contrast sharply.

  2. We compared and contrasted the two characters of the story.

Recent Examples of contrast from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contrast

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

contrast Synonyms

Synonyms
differ, vary
Antonyms
compare, match
Related Words
deviate, diverge, divide, fluctuate, separate
Near Antonyms
accord, agree, conform, correspond

Synonym Discussion of contrast

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

2

contrast

noun con·trast \ ˈkän-ˌtrast \

Definition of contrast

1 a : 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
2 a : 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.

Examples of contrast in a Sentence

  1. I observed an interesting contrast in the teaching styles of the two women.

  2. Careful contrast of the twins shows some differences.

  3. In contrast to last year's profits, the company is not doing very well.

  4. The queen's wit and humor made the prince seem dull by contrast.

  5. They spent millions of dollars on advertising. By way of contrast, our small company spent under 5,000 dollars.

Recent Examples of contrast from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contrast



CONTRAST Defined for English Language Learners

contrast

verb

Definition of contrast for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of contrast for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

contrast

verb con·trast \ kən-ˈtrast \

Definition of contrast for Students

contrasted; contrasting
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.

2

contrast

noun con·trast \ ˈkän-ˌtrast \

Definition of contrast for Students

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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