noun, plural con·trar·ies.
- in opposition to what has been stated.
- from another point of view: On the contrary, there may be some who would agree with you.
- to the opposite effect: I believe he is innocent, whatever they may say to the contrary.
- to a different effect.
Origin of contrary
Examples from the Web for contraries
The title of the Donne poem is “Oh, to Vex Me, Contraries Meet as One.”Cynthia Nixon on Bisexuality & Her New Role in ‘Wit’|Kevin Sessums|January 24, 2012|DAILY BEAST
For fearfulness seemeth in a manner contrary to boldness, and contraries can never co-exist.The Teaching of Epictetus|Epictetus
Contraria contrariis curantur—Contraries are cured by contraries.
Those who are to be unhappy, think & speak only of the contraries.Benjamin Franklin|Frank Luther Mott
And the nature of males and females, of heat and cold, and of such other pairs of contraries, was reversed.The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2|Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
We are always imitating England: the attraction of contraries, I suppose, because we are surrounded by land as they are by water.King John of Jingalo|Laurence Housman
British Dictionary definitions for contraries
noun plural -ries
adverb (usually foll by to)
Word Origin for contrary
Word Origin and History for contraries
mid-14c., from Anglo-French contrarie, from Latin contrarius "opposite, opposed," from contra "against" (see contra).
If we take the statement All men are mortal, its contrary is Not all men are mortal, its converse is All mortal beings are men, & its opposite is No men are mortal. The contrary, however, does not exclude the opposite, but includes it as its most extreme form. Thus This is white has only one opposite, This is black, but many contraries, as This is not white, This is coloured, This is dirty, This is black; & whether the last form is called the contrary, or more emphatically the opposite, is usually indifferent. But to apply the opposite to a mere contrary (e.g. to I did not hit him in relation to I hit him, which has no opposite), or to the converse (e.g. to He hit me in relation to I hit him, to which it is neither contrary nor opposite), is a looseness that may easily result in misunderstanding; the temptation to go wrong is intelligible when it is remembered that with certain types of sentence (A exceeds B) the converse & the opposite are identical (B exceeds A). [Fowler]
As a noun from late 13c. Related: Contrarily; contrariwise.
Idioms and Phrases with contraries
see on the contrary; to the contrary.