What does contrast mean?

Definitions for contrast
kənˈtræst, ˈkɒn træst; ˈkɒn træstcon·trast

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word contrast.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. contrast, direct contrastnoun

    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared

    "in contrast to", "by contrast"

  2. contrastnoun

    the act of distinguishing by comparing differences

  3. line, dividing line, demarcation, contrastnoun

    a conceptual separation or distinction

    "there is a narrow line between sanity and insanity"

  4. contrastnoun

    the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors

  5. contrastverb

    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. contrastverb

    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, counterpointverb

    to show differences when compared; be different

    "the students contrast considerably in their artistic abilities"


  1. contrastnoun

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

  2. contrastnoun

    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. contrastnoun

    A difference between two objects, people or concepts.

    Israel is a country of many contrasts.

  4. contrastnoun

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

  5. contrastnoun


  6. contrastverb

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

  7. contrastverb

    To form a contrast.

    Foreground and background strongly contrast.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CONTRASTnoun

    Opposition and dissimilitude of figures, by which one contributes to the visibility or effect of another.

    Etymology: contraste, Fr.

  2. To Contrastverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The figures of the groups must not be all on a side, that is, with their face and bodies all turned the same way; but must contrast each other by their several positions. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Contrastverb

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

  2. Contrastverb

    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. Contrastverb

    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. Contrastnoun

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

  5. Contrastnoun

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

  6. Contrastnoun

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

  7. Etymology: [F. contraster, LL. contrastare to resist, withstand, fr. L. contra + stare to stand. See Stand.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Contrast

    kon-trast′, v.i. to stand in opposition to.—v.t. to set in opposition, in order to show superiority or give effect.—n. Con′trast, opposition or unlikeness in things compared: exhibition of differences.—adj. Contrast′ive. [Fr. contraster—L. contra, opposite to, stāre, to stand.]

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

How to pronounce contrast?

How to say contrast in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of contrast in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of contrast in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of contrast in a Sentence

  1. Peter Ambler:

    We wanted to display and send a message... that there's a lot of consensus that this country needs to take bold action to stem gun violence, and we had a theory that we could convey that and create, not just a powerful message the American people, but a core contrast with Donald Trump by putting them on video, recording their messages and mashing them together.

  2. Sigmund Freud:

    What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.

  3. Kamala Harris:

    It's very important that anyone who presents themselves as a leader and wants to be a leader will speak like a leader, that means speaking with integrity. It means speaking truth. It means speaking in a way that expresses and indicates some level of interest and concern to people other than oneself. And so, right there we will see a great contrast.

  4. Vineet Chopra:

    We knew how to input data, how to extract data, and we know how to access it for prediction purposes, in contrast, the new data system has many inconsistencies.

  5. Anshul Agarwal:

    In stark contrast to the typical post-earnings selloff in implied volatility, McDonald's options have seen a consistently high bid since the announcement of the turnaround plan.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for contrast

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • التباينArabic
  • контрастирам, контраст, противопоставямBulgarian
  • protiklad, kontrastovatCzech
  • kontrastieren, Kontrast, gegenüberstellenGerman
  • αντιπαραβάλλωGreek
  • kontrasti, kontrastoEsperanto
  • contrastar, contrasteSpanish
  • کنتراستPersian
  • vastakohta, rinnastaa, kontrastinappula, verrata, kontrastiFinnish
  • contrasterFrench
  • codarsnachtIrish
  • הנגיד, ניגודHebrew
  • 대조Korean
  • contraste, contrastarPortuguese
  • contrastRomanian
  • контраст, контрастировать, противопоставить, противопоставлятьRussian
  • kontrastera, kontrastSwedish
  • வேறுபடுத்திப்Tamil
  • ความคมชัดThai
  • اس کے برعکسUrdu
  • tương phảnVietnamese

Get even more translations for contrast »


Find a translation for the contrast definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these contrast definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "contrast." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/contrast>.

    Are we missing a good definition for contrast? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    come out into view, as from concealment
    • A. obligate
    • B. emerge
    • C. distinguish
    • D. acclaim

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for contrast: