- to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite natures, purposes, etc., of: Contrast the political rights of Romans and Greeks.
- to exhibit unlikeness on comparison with something else; form a contrast.
- Linguistics. to differ in a way that can serve to distinguish meanings: The sounds (p) and (b) contrast in the words “pin” and “bin.”
- the act of contrasting; the state of being contrasted.
- a striking exhibition of unlikeness.
- a person or thing that is strikingly unlike in comparison: The weather down here is a welcome contrast to what we're having back home.
- opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors in a work of art to intensify each element's properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.
- Photography. the relative difference between light and dark areas of a print or negative.
- Television. the brightness ratio of the lightest to the darkest part of the television screen image.
- Linguistics. a difference between linguistic elements, especially sounds, that can serve to distinguish meanings.
Origin of contrast
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for contrasted
He contrasted his vices with those of other congressmen who drank or “snort coke or chase women.”Tea Party Reindeer Farmer Faces Extinction
July 30, 2014
This is contrasted with the human skeletal system, which is classified as an endoskeleton.The Bionic Exoskeleton Helping Paraplegics Walk
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD
June 29, 2014
Gloriously smooth, full-grain leather was contrasted with hybrid materials.Nicolas Ghesquière Presents His Debut Collection for Louis Vuitton
March 5, 2014
They contrasted earthy creations made from menswear fabrics with occasional sexy, lingerie-inspired pieces.Valentino's 2013 Fall Couture Collection
July 4, 2013
She contrasted its timidity with a bellicose anti-Hagel salvo from the Christian-right group Concerned Women for America.The GOP’s Steep Descent Into Extreme Politics and Doctrine
February 28, 2013
I suppose the Pilgrim and the Rake are contrasted with each other.Weighed and Wanting
She painted for him what a gentleman and a soldier should be and contrasted with it what he was.
She contrasted them with his own weakness and supineness and degradation.
Melaleucum, black and white; from contrasted colors of the cap and gills.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
The extreme of commonplace is contrasted with the most ideal and imaginative of speculations.Phaedrus
- (often foll by with) to distinguish or be distinguished by comparison of unlike or opposite qualities
- distinction or emphasis of difference by comparison of opposite or dissimilar things, qualities, etc (esp in the phrases by contrast, in contrast to or with)
- a person or thing showing notable differences when compared with another
- (in painting) the effect of the juxtaposition of different colours, tones, etc
- (of a photographic emulsion) the degree of density measured against exposure used
- the extent to which adjacent areas of an optical image, esp on a television screen or in a photographic negative or print, differ in brightness
- psychol the phenomenon that when two different but related stimuli are presented close together in space and/or time they are perceived as being more different than they really are
Word Origin and History for contrasted
1690s, from French contraster (Old French contrester), modified by or from Italian contrastare "stand out against, strive, contend," from Vulgar Latin *contrastare "to withstand," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
Middle English had contrest "to fight against, to withstand," which became extinct. Modern word re-introduced as an art term. Related: Contrasted; contrasting; contrastive.
1711, from contrast (v.).