contrary

[kon-trer-ee; for 5 also kuhn-trair-ee]
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adjective

noun, plural con·trar·ies.

adverb

in opposition; oppositely; counter: to act contrary to one's own principles.

Nearby words

  1. contrarily,
  2. contrariness,
  3. contrarious,
  4. contrariously,
  5. contrariwise,
  6. contrary motion,
  7. contras,
  8. contrasexual,
  9. contrast,
  10. contrast bath

Idioms

Origin of contrary

1200–50; Middle English contrarie < Anglo-French < Latin contrārius. See contra1, -ary

Related formscon·trar·i·ly [kon-trer-uh-lee, kuhn-trair-] /ˈkɒn trɛr ə li, kənˈtrɛər-/, adverbcon·trar·i·ness, nounqua·si-con·trar·i·ly, adverbqua·si-con·trar·y, adjective

Synonym study

1. See opposite. 4. Contrary, adverse both describe something that opposes. Contrary conveys an idea of something impersonal and objective whose opposition happens to be unfavorable: contrary winds. Adverse suggests something more personally unfriendly or even hostile; it emphasizes the idea of the resulting misfortune to that which is opposed: The judge rendered a decision adverse to the defendant.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contraries


British Dictionary definitions for contraries

contrary

adjective

opposed in nature, position, etccontrary ideas
(kənˈtrɛərɪ) perverse; obstinate
(esp of wind) adverse; unfavourable
(of plant parts) situated at right angles to each other
logic (of a pair of propositions) related so that they cannot both be true at once, although they may both be false togetherCompare subcontrary (def. 2), contradictory (def. 3)

noun plural -ries

the exact opposite (esp in the phrase to the contrary)
on the contrary quite the reverse; not at all
either of two exactly opposite objects, facts, or qualities
logic a statement that cannot be true when a given statement is true

adverb (usually foll by to)

in an opposite or unexpected waycontrary to usual belief
in conflict (with) or contravention (of)contrary to nature
Derived Formscontrariness, noun

Word Origin for contrary

C14: from Latin contrārius opposite, 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 contraries

contrary

adj.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with contraries

contrary

see on the contrary; to the contrary.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.