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contrary

used in a sentence
5 meanings
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1  —as in:
a contrary idea
Definition different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
  • The facts point to a contrary conclusion.
contrary = different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • We're trying to choose between two contrary solutions.
  • contrary = different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
  • I'm getting contrary messages.
  • contrary = different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
  • I take issue with anyone who says the contrary.
  • contrary = different (perhaps opposite or mutually exclusive)
  • Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
    Robert Heinlein
  • contrary = opposite
  • From the very beginning of his illness ...  Ivan Ilych's life had been divided between two contrary and alternating moods:
    Leo Tolstoy  --  The Death of Ivan Ilych
  • contrary = opposite or alternative
  • I took the contrary side, perhaps a little for dispute's sake.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • contrary = opposite
  • No, no; quite the contrary.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • contrary = opposite
  • — This trick may chance to scathe you,—I know what: You must contrary me! marry, 'tis time.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • contrary = contradict
  • But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.
    George Orwell  --  1984
contrary = opposite

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®Wikipedia® Article on Logically Contrary Propositions
2  —as in:
a contrary personality
Definition disagreeable — typically in reference to someone's personality
  • She has a contrary personality.
contrary = disagreeable
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She just said it to be contrary.
  • contrary = disagreeable
  • We were hoping to make better time, but we had to battle a contrary wind.
  • contrary = disagreeable (the wind was blowing in the opposite direction of travel)
  • Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?
  • contrary = disagreeable
  • "No, you didn't," I said, just to be contrary.
    Jerry Spinelli  --  Milkweed
  • contrary = disagreeable
  • She's contrary as a very witch herself.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • contrary = disagreeable
  • He gave me besides a great bag holding all of the contrary winds, so they could not trouble us.
    Madeline Miller  --  Circe
  • contrary = disagreeable (not blowing as desired)
  • What storm is this that blows so contrary?
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • contrary = disagreeably
  • Not that we would have endangered his safety by any tremendous weather—but only by a steady contrary wind, or a calm.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • contrary = disagreeable (not blowing as desired)
  • She'd have spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony, but she was too contrary-
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
contrary = disagreeable

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
3  —as in:
contrary to
Definition in opposition to
  • Contrary to popular belief, the largest pyramid is in Mexico—not Egypt.
contrary to = in opposition to
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • We will not allow members to act contrary to our code of ethics.
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • Treat with utmost respect your power of forming opinions, for this power alone guards you against making assumptions that are contrary to nature and judgments that overthrow the rule of reason.
    Marcus Aurelius  --  Meditations, 3.9
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • Contrary to general belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first.
    Peter Ustinov
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • I asked him if he didn't know it was contrary to law; and that slaves were whipped and imprisoned for teaching each other to read.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • We sometimes have strange, impossible dreams, contrary to all the laws of nature.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • how could he mean to behave this way, contrary to the principle that had always governed his treatment of others—his sense of decency.
    Laura Esquivel  --  Like Water for Chocolate
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • While he spoke, Maria was looking apprehensively round at Edmund in full expectation that he must oppose such an enlargement of the plan as this: so contrary to all their first protestations; but Edmund said nothing.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • contrary to = in opposition to
  • As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height, and proportionably large.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • contrary to = opposite or different
  • Contrary to my usual practice, I'm going to write you a detailed description of the food situation, since it's become a matter of some difficulty and importance, not only here in the Annex, but in all of Holland, all of Europe and even beyond.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
contrary to = opposite

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
4  —as in:
on the contrary
Definition an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • She was not smiling. On the contrary, she frowned.
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I will not pay you for the work. On the contrary, I may sue you for damages.
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.
    Michael Crichton
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • Now you do not "suffer fools gladly"; on the contrary, you "gladly make fools suffer."
  • on the contrary = an expression used to introduce a creative idea
  • The whole recorded history of man is strewn with the wreckage of the great civilizations which have crumbled under price controls; and in forty centuries of human experience, there has never been – so far as I can discover - a single case where such controls have stopped, or even curbed for long, the forces of inflation. On the contrary, in every instance I can find, they have discouraged production, created shortages, and aggravated the very evils they were intended to cure.
    Irving S. Olds
  • on the contrary = an expression used to introduce a creative idea
  • She did not want to get up; not because she was still tired - on the contrary she was wonderfully rested
    C.S. Lewis  --  Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • He is not at all angry, I assure you; on the contrary, he is surprised that you could suppose so.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile...
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • Still, I don't want to moan and groan. On the contrary, I want to be brave!
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea
  • I was doing harm to no one; on the contrary, I was doing all the good I could in my small way; yet I could never go out to breathe God's free air without trepidation at my heart.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
on the contrary = an expression used to intensify denial of an idea

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
5  —as in:
to the contrary
Definition with an opposite or different effect; or something with an opposite or different effect
  • What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.
to the contrary = with an opposite or different effect
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • No matter what anyone says to the contrary, I heard him say it.
  • to the contrary = with an opposite or different effect
  • Unless I hear to the contrary, I will meet you outside the theatre at eight.
  • to the contrary = something with an opposite or different effect
  • Public opinion to the contrary, he is not guilty.
    Thomas Huxley
  • Meantime, we would take it for granted that all were friends, till they proved to the contrary.
    Harriet Jacobs  --  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • to the contrary = with an opposite or different effect; or something with an opposite or different effect
  • Harry had wondered whether Dumbledore would return from wherever he had been in time for Monday night's lesson, but having had no word to the contrary, he presented himself outside Dumbledore's office at eight o'clock, knocked, and was told to enter.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • to the contrary = with a different effect
  • In order to secure my credit and character as a tradesman, I took care not only to be in reality industrious and frugal, but to avoid all appearances to the contrary.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • to the contrary = with an opposite effect
  • And all things change them to the contrary.
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • to the contrary = the opposite
  • Atticus, let's get on with these proceedings, and let the record show that the witness has not been sassed, her views to the contrary.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • to the contrary = with a different opinion
  • ...it was soon settled, that if nothing were heard to the contrary, Mrs. Grant might expect her.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
to the contrary = with an opposite effect

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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