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
This senseless policy needlessly puts lives at risk, and it’s critical that the American people speak out about why this rule change is dangerous and contrary to our values.Trump administration targets homeless trans Americans | Jennifer Wexton | September 2, 2020 | Washington Blade
Quite the contrary, the delays help ensure legitimacy of the votes.The biggest threat to mail-in voting isn’t security—it’s politics | matthewheimer | August 24, 2020 | Fortune
On the contrary, you can run 404 checks to locate pages that are not working anymore to ensure that they are redirected in the correct page.Three SEO mistakes that can impact your search rankings | Tereza Litsa | August 24, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
On the contrary, the whole point is that business on its own can make the world a better place.Revisiting the Business Roundtable’s ‘Stakeholder Capitalism,’ one year later | Geoffrey Colvin | August 19, 2020 | Fortune
And, contrary to popular belief, I’m also a huge proponent of public transportation.
He argues persuasively that the decision to launch the attack was completely contrary to reason and good military judgment.
contrary to the popular narrative, TNR did not “die” last week.The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple | James Kirchick | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
contrary to what you may assume about me, I actually enjoy the occasional trip to the mall.
No, on the contrary, only a fraction of this country, a part which I would call the best of Italy, is against the Mafia.Days of Mafia Mayhem Are Wracking Italy Once Again | Barbie Latza Nadeau | November 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
contrary to the conventional wisdom, there is nothing intrinsically “progressive” about hating suburbs.
Whether they had ever, at different times, pleaded for or against the same cause, and cited precedents to prove contrary opinions?Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
My husband detests them; on the contrary, I like those carriages, for they tell me of happy—I mean to say, of former times.
This seems to be contrary to the spirit and intent of the act, which is primarily to centralize reserves in Federal Reserve Banks.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
On the contrary, the full meaning of the act is manifestly opposed to such an idea.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
Mrs. Pontellier was not a woman given to confidences, a characteristic hitherto contrary to her nature.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
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.