contrary

[ kon-trer-ee; for 5 also kuhn-trair-ee ]
/ ˈkɒn trɛr i; for 5 also kənˈtrɛər i /

adjective

noun, plural con·trar·ies.

adverb

in opposition; oppositely; counter: to act contrary to one's own principles.

Nearby words

  1. contrarily,
  2. contrariness,
  3. contrarious,
  4. contrariously,
  5. contrariwise,
  6. contrary motion,
  7. contras,
  8. contrasexual,
  9. contrast,
  10. contrast bath

Idioms

Origin of contrary

1200–50; Middle English contrarie < Anglo-French < Latin contrārius. See contra1, -ary

Related formscon·trar·i·ly [kon-trer-uh-lee, kuhn-trair-] /ˈkɒn trɛr ə li, kənˈtrɛər-/, adverbcon·trar·i·ness, nounqua·si-con·trar·i·ly, adverbqua·si-con·trar·y, adjective

Synonym study

1. See opposite. 4. Contrary, adverse both describe something that opposes. Contrary conveys an idea of something impersonal and objective whose opposition happens to be unfavorable: contrary winds. Adverse suggests something more personally unfriendly or even hostile; it emphasizes the idea of the resulting misfortune to that which is opposed: The judge rendered a decision adverse to the defendant.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for to the contrary

contrary

/ (ˈkɒntrərɪ) /

adjective

noun plural -ries

adverb (usually foll by to)

in an opposite or unexpected waycontrary to usual belief
in conflict (with) or contravention (of)contrary to nature
Derived Formscontrariness, noun

Word Origin for contrary

C14: from Latin contrārius opposite, from contrā against

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

Word Origin and History for to the contrary

contrary

adj.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with to the contrary

to the contrary

To the opposite effect, in denial, as in No matter what they say to the contrary, I am positive that he was present. This idiom was first recorded in 1512. Also see on the contrary.

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.