Definitions for contrastkənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; ˈkɒn træst

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word contrast

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

con•trastkənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; ˈkɒn træst(v.; n.; v.t.)

  1. to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite qualities of.

  2. (v.i.)to exhibit unlikeness on comparison with something else; form a contrast.

  3. (of linguistic elements, as speech sounds) to differ in a way that can serve to distinguish meanings.

    Category: Language/Linguistics

  4. (n.)the act of contrasting; the state of being contrasted.

  5. a striking exhibition of unlikeness.

  6. a person or thing that is strikingly unlike in comparison.

  7. opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors in a work of art.

    Category: Fine Arts

  8. the relative difference between light and dark areas of a photographic print or negative.

    Category: Photography

  9. the brightness ratio of the lightest to the darkest part of a television screen image.

    Category: Radio and Television

  10. a difference between linguistic elements, esp. sounds, that can serve to distinguish meanings.

    Category: Phonetics, Language/Linguistics

Origin of contrast:

1480–90; (v.) < MF contraster < It contrastare to contest < L contrā-contra -1+stāre to stand ; (n.) earlier contraste < F < It contrasto conflict, der. of contrastare


Princeton's WordNet

  1. contrast, direct contrast(noun)

    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared

    "in contrast to", "by contrast"

  2. contrast(noun)

    the act of distinguishing by comparing differences

  3. line, dividing line, demarcation, contrast(noun)

    a conceptual separation or distinction

    "there is a narrow line between sanity and insanity"

  4. contrast(noun)

    the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors

  5. contrast(verb)

    the range of optical density and tone on a photographic negative or print (or the extent to which adjacent areas on a television screen differ in brightness)

  6. contrast(verb)

    put in opposition to show or emphasize differences

    "The middle school teacher contrasted her best student's work with that of her weakest student"

  7. contrast, counterpoint(verb)

    to show differences when compared; be different

    "the students contrast considerably in their artistic abilities"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. contrast(noun)ənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; n. ˈkɒn træst

    ≠ similarity

    the contrast between his public and private life; His views were sharply in contrast to her own.

  2. contrastənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; n. ˈkɒn træst

    the difference between shades of color or light

    adding contrast with darker colors

  3. contrast(verb)ənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; n. ˈkɒn træst

    to compare two things to show a contrast

    Compare and contrast the two main characters in the story.

  4. contrastənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; n. ˈkɒn træst

    to be noticeably different

    His enthusiasm for life contrasts with her pessimism.


  1. contrast(Noun)

    A difference in lightness, brightness and/or hue between two colours that makes them more or less distinguishable.

  2. contrast(Noun)

    The degree of this difference.

    The red and the orange don't have much contrast between them uE000151142uE001 I can hardly tell them apart.

  3. contrast(Noun)

    A difference between two objects, people or concepts.

    Israel is a country of many contrasts.

  4. contrast(Noun)

    A control on a television, etc, that adjusts the amount of contrast in the images being displayed.

  5. contrast(Noun)


  6. contrast(Verb)

    To set in opposition in order to show the difference or differences between.

  7. contrast(Verb)

    To form a contrast.

    Foreground and background strongly contrast.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contrast(verb)

    to stand in opposition; to exhibit difference, unlikeness, or opposition of qualities

  2. Contrast(verb)

    to set in opposition, or over against, in order to show the differences between, or the comparative excellences and defects of; to compare by difference or contrariety of qualities; as, to contrast the present with the past

  3. Contrast(verb)

    to give greater effect to, as to a figure or other object, by putting it in some relation of opposition to another figure or object

  4. Contrast(noun)

    the act of contrasting, or the state of being contrasted; comparison by contrariety of qualities

  5. Contrast(noun)

    opposition or dissimilitude of things or qualities; unlikeness, esp. as shown by juxtaposition or comparison

  6. Contrast(noun)

    the opposition of varied forms, colors, etc., which by such juxtaposition more vividly express each other's peculiarities


  1. Contrast

    Contrast is the difference in luminance and/or color that makes an object distinguishable. In visual perception of the real world, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of the object and other objects within the same field of view. Because the human visual system is more sensitive to contrast than absolute luminance, we can perceive the world similarly regardless of the huge changes in illumination over the day or from place to place. The maximum contrast of an image is the contrast ratio or dynamic range. Contrast is also the difference between the color or shading of the printed material on a document and the background on which it is printed, for example in optical character recognition.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contrast' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1622

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contrast' in Nouns Frequency: #719

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'contrast' in Verbs Frequency: #874

Translations for contrast

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


difference(s) in things or people that are compared

The contrast between their attitudes is very marked.

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