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contradistinction

[kon-truh-di-stingk-shuh n]
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noun
  1. distinction by opposition or contrast: plants and animals in contradistinction to humans.
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Origin of contradistinction

First recorded in 1640–50; contra-1 + distinction
Related formscon·tra·dis·tinc·tive, adjectivecon·tra·dis·tinc·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

polarityantithesiscontradictioncontrarietycontrarinesscontrastcontraposition

Examples from the Web for contradistinction

Historical Examples

  • The doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction to the doctrine that God is everything.

    The Devil's Dictionary

    Ambrose Bierce

  • Osiris is the god of good, in contradistinction to Set, the god of evil.

  • Fresh-water lakes, in contradistinction to rivers or narrow waters.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Those which lie up rivers; a term in contradistinction to out-ports.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • One with double faces; top-mauls in contradistinction to pin-mauls.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth


British Dictionary definitions for contradistinction

contradistinction

noun
  1. a distinction made by contrasting different qualities
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Derived Formscontradistinctive, adjectivecontradistinctively, adverb
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 contradistinction

n.

1640s, from contra- + distinction.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper