Definition of Contra in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäntrə/


A member of a guerrilla force in Nicaragua that opposed the left-wing Sandinista government 1979–90, and was supported by the US for much of that time. It was officially disbanded in 1990, after the Sandinistas' electoral defeat.
Example sentences
  • But the Sandinistas, not the contras, now threatened armed resistance to the new democratic government.
  • In Nicaragua, meanwhile, many of those recently arrested for gun-running have turned out to be either former contras or members of the Sandinista army.
  • When the Sandinista government of Nicaragua tried to take the United States to court for supporting the contras in the 1980s, for example, the U.S. government simply ignored the action.


Abbreviation of Spanish contrarevolucionario 'counterrevolutionary'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Con·tra

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