opposite in nature or character; diametrically or mutually opposed: contrary to fact; contrary propositions.
opposite in direction or position: departures in contrary directions.
being the opposite one of two: I will make the contrary choice.
unfavorable or adverse.
perverse; stubbornly opposed or willful.
something that is contrary or opposite: to prove the contrary of a statement.
either of two contrary things.
Logic. a proposition so related to another proposition that both may not be true though both may be false, as with the propositions “All judges are male” and “No judges are male.”
in opposition; oppositely; counter: to act contrary to one's own principles.
Idioms about contrary
by contraries, contrary to expectation.
on the contrary,
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 contrary,
to the opposite effect: I believe he is innocent, whatever they may say to the contrary.
to a different effect.
- con·trar·i·ly [kon-trer-uh-lee, kuhn-trair-], /ˈkɒn trɛr ə li, kənˈtrɛər-/, adverb
- con·trar·i·ness, noun
- qua·si-con·trar·i·ly, adverb
- qua·si-con·trar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use contrary in a sentence
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 | THE DAILY BEAST
Shall the affections which consist in the forms and powers, and their contraries, the privations, be called qualities?Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)
Consequently, objects which have something in common in the respect of colors could not be contraries.Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)
At present attention may be called only to one remarkable trait, namely: the interpretation of dreams by contraries.Current Superstitions | Various
Waterloo, by the way, is the strangest encounter recorded in history; Napoleon and Wellington are not enemies, but contraries.
Motion and Rest are contraries; yet we say that each and both are Realities or Entia.
British Dictionary definitions for contrary
opposed in nature, position, etc: contrary ideas
(kənˈtrɛərɪ) perverse; obstinate
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
in an opposite or unexpected way: contrary to usual belief
in conflict (with) or contravention (of): contrary to nature
- contrariness, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.