noun, plural con·trar·ies.
- contrary motion,
- contrast bath
- 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 contrariness
The young were thoughtless, they had the root of evil in them, they flew into frivolity from contrariness.The Manxman|Hall Caine
So great is the contrariness of the tides that even strong winds cannot be relied upon for their effects.A Floating Home|Cyril Ionides
The wind was completely taken out of his sails and every bit of the Ellis contrariness was roused.Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908|Lucy Maud Montgomery
This is certainly another instance of the contrariness of Fate.My Strangest Case|Guy Boothby
He may at times laugh, and in the friendliest spirit tease his wife about her contrariness.Married Love|Marie Carmichael Stopes
noun plural -ries
adverb (usually foll by to)
Word Origin for contrary
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.
see on the contrary; to the contrary.