con·​tras·​tive | \ kən-ˈtra-stiv How to pronounce contrastive (audio) , ˈkän-ˌtra- How to pronounce contrastive (audio) \

Definition of contrastive

: forming or consisting of a contrast

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from contrastive

contrastively adverb

Examples of contrastive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The two women, mostly onstage together, occupy the zones separately, their contrastive presences balanced: Ms. Beiser hot and more sedentary, Ms. Whelan cool but mobile. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: Wendy Whelan and Maya Beiser’s Meditation on 9/11," 1 Aug. 2019 While climbing a Martian mountain, NASA's Curiosity rover has come across a crater capable of creating contrastive chemical environments. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Findings in Crater Good Sign for Habitability on Mars," 14 Dec. 2016 The group with contrastive analysis not only discovered something about English. The Economist, "JohnsonThe importance of proper and improper English," 2 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contrastive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of contrastive

1841, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contrastive

Time Traveler for contrastive

Time Traveler

The first known use of contrastive was in 1841

See more words from the same year

Statistics for contrastive

Cite this Entry

“Contrastive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

Comments on contrastive

What made you want to look up contrastive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!