Contrast definition

kən-trăst, kŏntrăst
A difference, esp. a striking difference, between things being compared.
noun
38
18
The difference in brightness between the light and dark areas of a picture, such as a photograph or video image.
noun
17
4
The use of opposing elements, such as colors, forms, or lines, in proximity to produce an intensified effect in a work of art.
noun
11
3
A person or thing showing differences when compared with another.
noun
10
3
To show differences when compared.

Siblings who contrast sharply in interests and abilities; a color that contrasted clearly with the dark background.

verb
16
12
Advertisement
To compare so as to point out the differences; set off against one another.
verb
5
2
The effect of a striking difference, as in color or tone, of adjacent parts of a painting, photograph, video-screen image, etc.
noun
5
3
(linguistics) A difference between units, especially one that distinguishes meaning.
noun
3
1
Contrast means to compare in order to show differences.

An example of contrast is to explain the differences between the causes of World War I and World War II.

verb
2
1
The state of being contrasted.

Red berries standing in vivid contrast against the snow.

noun
1
0
Advertisement
(countable) A difference in lightness, brightness and/or hue between two colours that makes them more or less distinguishable.
noun
1
0
(uncountable) The degree of this difference.

The red and the orange don't have much contrast between them — I can hardly tell them apart.

noun
1
0
(countable) A difference between two objects, people or concepts.

Israel is a country of many contrasts.

noun
1
0
(countable) A control on a television, etc, that adjusts the amount of contrast in the images being displayed.
noun
1
0
(countable, uncountable, rhetoric) Antithesis.
noun
1
0
Advertisement
To set in opposition in order to show the difference or differences between.
verb
1
0
(intransitive) To form a contrast.

Foreground and background strongly contrast.

verb
1
0
A contrasting or being contrasted.
noun
6
6
(linguistics) To evince a difference that can distinguish meaning.

Voiced and voiceless stops contrast in English but not in Cree.

verb
4
4
A difference, especially a strong dissimilarity, between entities or objects compared.

The contrast between Northern and Southern speech patterns.

noun
3
3
Advertisement
One thing that is strikingly dissimilar to another.

My new school was a welcome contrast to the one before.

noun
3
3
To show differences when compared; form a contrast.
verb
2
2
The definition of contrast is the difference between two objects, people or places.

An example of contrast is thunder storms on one end of an island and clear, blue skies on the other end.

noun
1
1
The act of contrasting; a setting off of dissimilar entities or objects.
noun
1
1
To set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences.

An essay that contrasts city and country life; contrasted this computer with inferior models.

verb
5
9
Advertisement

Origin of contrast

  • French contraster from Italian contrastare from Medieval Latin contrāstāre Latin contrā- contra- Latin stāre to stand stā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French contraster, from Italian contrastare (“to resist", "to withstand”), from Vulgar Latin, from Latin contra (“against”) + stare (“to stand”)

    From Wiktionary