- a prefix meaning “against,” “opposite,” “opposing”: contradistinction, contraindicate.
Origin of contra-1
- a prefix meaning “pitched lower than” the voice or instrument specified by the following element: contralto, contrabassoon.
Origin of contra-2
- against; contrary; opposing; contrastingcontraceptive; contradistinction
- (in music) pitched belowcontrabass
Word Origin and History for contra-
word-forming element meaning "against, in opposition," from Latin adverb and preposition contra (see contra). The Latin word was used as a prefix in Late Latin. In French, it became contre- and passed into English as counter-. The Old English equivalent was wiðer (surviving in withers and widdershins), from wið "with, against."
- Against; opposite; contrasting:contraindication.