[ kohn-truh-pos-toh ]
/ ˌkoʊn trəˈpɒs toʊ /

noun, plural con·trap·pos·tos. Fine Arts.

a representation of the human body in which the forms are organized on a varying or curving axis to provide an asymmetrical balance to the figure.

Nearby words

  1. contraorbital,
  2. contraplete,
  3. contrapose,
  4. contraposition,
  5. contrapositive,
  6. contraption,
  7. contrapuntal,
  8. contrapuntist,
  9. contrarian,
  10. contrariety

Origin of contrapposto

1900–05; < Italian < Latin contrāpositus, past participle of contrāpōnere to place against. See contra1, posit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for contrapposto


/ (ˌkɒntrəˈpɒstəʊ) /

noun plural -tos

(in the visual arts) a curving or asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure with the shoulders, hips, and legs in different planes

Word Origin for contrapposto

C20: from Italian, from the past participle of contrapporre, from Latin contra contra- + pōnere to place

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 contrapposto



1903, from Italian contrapposto, past participle of contrapporre, from Latin contraponere (see contraposition).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper