[kuh n-trair-ee-uh n]


a person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion, as in economic matters.

Nearby words

  1. contrapositive,
  2. contrapposto,
  3. contraption,
  4. contrapuntal,
  5. contrapuntist,
  6. contrariety,
  7. contrarily,
  8. contrariness,
  9. contrarious,
  10. contrariously

Origin of contrarian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contrarian

British Dictionary definitions for contrarian



  1. a contrary or obstinate person
  2. (as modifier)a contrarian investor; contrarian instincts
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 contrarian



1963, from contrary + -ian.

To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do. [Christopher Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian," 2001]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper