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

Hartford artist Lindaluz Carrillo has painted a map of Hartford on the asphalt behind the center, with its neighborhoods in contrasting colors, a teaching tool for community conversations. Kaitlin Mccallum, courant.com, "Kamora’s Cultural Corner bridges a divide between black, queer and intercultural communities," 4 Sep. 2019 The 2019 approach to the cargo aesthetic appeals to shoppers who lean into the baggy silhouette and will pair them with high-tops, as well as those who like contrasting fits and might style them with slim stilettos. Glamour, "Cargo Pockets Are the Most Inevitable Trend of 2019," 4 Sep. 2019 Their contrasting styles and otherworldly talent made for scintillating matches -- but Nadal usually won. oregonlive, "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal on track for long-awaited U.S. Open showdown, but who would be the favorite?," 3 Sep. 2019 The video imagery backdrop further emphasized the contrasting themes during his propulsive set. Althea Legaspi, chicagotribune.com, "North Coast fest review: New venue, new vibe with returning headliners Bassnectar, Major Lazer," 30 Aug. 2019 The contrasting stitching and loose fit are cool details that add interest. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "10 white styles you should totally wear after Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019 Not to worry, the contrasting notes aren't overpowering: The exotic notes of white blossom, bergamot, vanilla, and sandalwood create a complex finish that's breathable and inviting. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Why Tom Ford's Métallique Fragrance Is Worth It," 28 Aug. 2019 Lemon is the filling, blueberry is the frosting and its lovely shade makes for a nice photo-op, as do the contrasting white chocolate spheres. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tart it up at Woody’s Lunch Box," 5 Aug. 2019 This is surprisingly similar to the contrasting magmas that long ago erupted from the nearby Yellowstone volcanoes, and the light-colored rhyolites of both systems change in age from one end of the volcanic chain to the other. National Geographic, "A tectonic plate is dying under Oregon. Here’s why that matters.," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By contrast, guns can be prohibited on private property. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Publix joins other retailers in asking patrons not to openly carry guns in its stores," 12 Sep. 2019 Texas, by contrast, is looking at a $10.6 billion in impacts because of higher tariffs on its products, and California at $13.4 billion. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Tariffs squeezing Colorado exporters and importers alike," 12 Sep. 2019 By contrast, as Frederick Douglass would later point out, Congress could have eradicated slavery without changing a word in the U.S. Constitution. Timothy Sandefur, National Review, "The Anti-Slavery Constitution," 12 Sep. 2019 The United States, by contrast, qualified behind the play of rosters cobbled together from the G League. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Even before USA loss, Heat’s Dragic questioned World Cup legitimacy," 11 Sep. 2019 By contrast, the lowest earning manager in the division is Igor Tudor, who only takes home €500,000 per year plus bonuses as coach of Udinese. SI.com, "Inter Manager Antonio Conte Revealed as Serie A's Highest Paid Manager Ever," 11 Sep. 2019 By contrast, Langford said, Kowatch has been told by other parents that her three daughters on the team, who are all talented swimmers, need to cover up for the sake of their sons. oregonlive, "‘Wedgies happen’ -- Curvy girl swimmer disqualified after official judges school-issued suit too revealing," 10 Sep. 2019 By contrast, hiQ is only scraping information from public LinkedIn profiles. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Web scraping doesn’t violate anti-hacking law, appeals court rules," 9 Sep. 2019 By contrast, Tennessee was flagged six times for 54 yards. Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns Postgame Scribbles: Now we’ll find out about coaching staff -- Terry Pluto," 9 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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