Definition of contrast in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒntrɑːst/
[mass noun]
1The state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association: the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine [count noun]: a contrast between rural and urban trends Kos is an island of contrasts
More example sentences
  • One can further continue the associations with the contrasts of righteousness and wrongdoing, life and death and the like.
  • One of the contrasts between the different Indian calendars relate to their respective religious associations.
  • No typological or technological contrasts were noted between different site phases.
1.1Differences in colour, tone, or shape that contribute to the visual effect of a design or image: match the trimming with one of the stronger colours in the pattern to provide contrast
More example sentences
  • Each object and even items of clothing were carefully chosen to assist in contrast, brightness and color calibration.
  • Everything else was in bright color, the contrast turned up.
  • Where colors meet, the contrast between them will appear more intense.
1.2The difference between tones in a television picture, photograph, etc. careful adjustment of the contrast to suit the prevailing light is critical [in combination]: high-contrast images
More example sentences
  • Colors and flesh tones are strong and natural with very strong contrast and the picture shows no edge enhancement to speak of.
  • It is a visually impressive film, using high contrast digital photography to make the daytime burn and the nights darker than reality.
  • The picture sports gorgeous contrast that runs from sparkling whites, to inky blacks, and a myriad shades of gray in between.
1.3 [in singular] A thing or person having qualities noticeably different from another: the castle is quite a contrast to other places where the singer has performed
More example sentences
  • These textures appear to have been chosen, in part, as a contrast to the sonic qualities of the sampled acoustic piano.
  • Walking to the station on Wednesday morning, the sky was a brilliant, vibrant blue, the grass an almost unnaturally intense green and the white blossom a stark contrast to it all.
  • Richard Ashton has appeared in Jack And The Beanstalk already this year, but what a contrast to this winter's pantomime engagement at York Theatre Royal.


Pronunciation: /kənˈtrɑːst/
[no object]
1Differ strikingly: his friend’s success contrasted with his own failure (as adjective contrasting) a contrasting view
More example sentences
  • The fat and salt levels in many own-brand products contrasted with those of well known brands.
  • As consort she supplied the human touch that contrasted with the more austere image and personality of her husband.
  • Its big plain glass windows contrasted with the dark glass of pubs which were designed to prevent people seeing in.
differ from, be at variance with, be contrary to, conflict with, go against, be at odds with, be in opposition to, disagree with, clash with
set off, complement;
informal scream at
1.1 [with object] Compare in such a way as to emphasize differences: people contrasted her with her sister
More example sentences
  • The lessons in the text compare and contrast the differences between dealing with men and women.
  • And then we can compare and contrast those different case study examples and look for any sorts of similarities or commonalities that come out of that.
  • This gave me a chance to compare and contrast the experience of a new participant at each of these conferences.
compare, set side by side, juxtapose;
distinguish from, differentiate from, draw a distinction between



Pronunciation: /kənˈtrɑːstɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • Outside of the main entrance, a throng of reporters, all in tow with their news vans and fat cameramen, with contrastingly beautiful anchors, told the story in a myriad of different ways, but they all said the same thing.
  • I discovered a certain amount of Puritanism and, contrastingly, Catholicism in me, but still a very strong belief in some of the oldest Pagan traditions of earth-worship.
  • The subjects, while still legible, appear to dematerialize into pulsing waves of contrastingly colored parallel lines.


Pronunciation: /kənˈtrɑːstɪv/
Example sentences
  • The causal-explanatory mode of reasoning makes significant use of a particular kind of explanation, namely contrastive explanation.
  • After the interviewees finished, we then asked open-ended questions meant to clarify contrastive reasoning and elicit narratives.
  • The author also draws on research on language attitudes, contrastive analysis of Navajo and English, and discourse strategies.


Late 17th century (as a term in fine art, in the sense 'juxtapose so as to bring out differences in form and colour'): from French contraste (noun), contraster (verb), via Italian from medieval Latin contrastare, from Latin contra- 'against' + stare 'stand'.

Words that rhyme with contrast

aghast, avast, Belfast, blast, cast, caste, fast, last, mast, miscast, outlast, past, unsurpassed, vast

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|trast

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