AskDefine | Define contrast

Dictionary Definition



1 the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared; "in contrast to", "by contrast" [syn: direct contrast]
2 the act of distinguishing by comparing differences
3 a conceptual separation or demarcation; "there is a narrow line between sanity and insanity" [syn: line, dividing line, demarcation]
4 the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors
5 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)


1 put in opposition to show or emphasize differences; "The middle school teacher contrasted her best student's work with that of her weakest student"
2 to show differences when compared; be different; "the students contrast considerably in their artistic abilities" [syn: counterpoint]

User Contributed Dictionary



contraster, from contrastare, to resist, to withstand


  • (noun):
    • (RP): /ˈkɒntrɑːst/, /"kQntrA:st/
    • (US): kŏn'trăst, /ˈkɑntræst/, /"kAntr

Extensive Definition

Contrast is the dissimilarity or difference between things. Another meaning for contrast is in the context of color. This can be the opposition of items that are compared or the act of distinguishing via differences comparison. The act of linguistics contrast is the act of expressing the distinctions between words.(It is used in the writing form compare and contrast)
contrast in Norwegian: Kontrast
contrast in Polish: Kontrast
contrast in Portuguese: Contraste
contrast in Russian: Контраст

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

allegory, analogize, analogy, antagonism, anteposition, antipathy, antithesis, arc lighting, assimilate, bad copy, bad likeness, balance, balancing, black and white, bracket, bring into analogy, bring into comparison, bump heads, camouflage, chiaroscuro, clashing, collate, collision, comparative anatomy, comparative degree, comparative grammar, comparative judgment, comparative linguistics, comparative literature, comparative method, compare, compare and contrast, compare with, comparing, comparison, conflict, confront, confrontation, confrontment, contend, contention, contradiction, contradistinction, contraindication, contrapose, contraposit, contraposition, contrariety, contrastiveness, correlation, counteract, counterpose, counterposition, cross-purposes, decorative lighting, departure, deviation, difference, differentiate, direct lighting, disaccord, disaccordance, disagreement, disconformity, discongruity, discordance, discrepancy, discreteness, discriminate, disguise, disparity, dissemblance, dissent, dissimilarity, dissimilation, dissimilitude, dissonance, distinction, distinctiveness, distinctness, distinguish, divergence, divergency, diversity, draw a comparison, draw a parallel, electric lighting, enlightenment, face, far cry, festoon lighting, floodlighting, fluorescent lighting, front, gaslighting, glow lighting, heterogeneity, highlights, hostility, illumination, inaccordance, incandescent lighting, incommensurability, incomparability, incompatibility, incongruity, inconsistency, inconsonance, indirect lighting, inequality, inharmoniousness, inharmony, inimicalness, irradiation, irreconcilability, juxtapose, lie opposite, light and shade, lighting, liken, liken to, likening, makeup, match, matching, measure against, meet head-on, mere caricature, metaphor, metaphorize, mixture, nonconformity, nonuniformity, odds, oppose, opposing, oppositeness, opposition, opposure, oppugnance, oppugnancy, otherness, overhead lighting, parallel, parallelism, perversity, place against, polar opposition, polarity, polarization, polarize, poor imitation, pose against, posing against, proportion, put in opposition, radiation, relate, relation, repugnance, run a comparison, separateness, set against, set in contrast, set in opposition, set off, set off against, set over against, showdown, simile, similitude, similize, spot lighting, stage lighting, stand opposed, stand opposite, strip lighting, subtend, tonality, trope of comparison, unconformity, unlikeness, unorthodoxy, unresemblance, unsameness, unsimilarity, variance, variation, variegation, variety, view together, weigh, weigh against, weighing
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