Definition of contrast in English:


Line breaks: con|trast


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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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] Back to top  



Pronunciation: /kənˈtrɑːstɪŋli/
More 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/
More 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'.

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