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See more synonyms for contra- on Thesaurus.com
  1. a prefix meaning “against,” “opposite,” “opposing”: contradistinction, contraindicate.
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Origin of contra-1

< Late Latin, Latin, prefixal use of adverb and preposition contrā


  1. a prefix meaning “pitched lower than” the voice or instrument specified by the following element: contralto, contrabassoon.
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Origin of contra-2

< Italian < Latin; see contra-1, counterpoint
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for contra-


  1. against; contrary; opposing; contrastingcontraceptive; contradistinction
  2. (in music) pitched belowcontrabass
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Word Origin

from Latin, from contrā against
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

contra- in Medicine


  1. Against; opposite; contrasting:contraindication.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.