I. noun (plural -traries) Etymology: Middle English contrarie, from Anglo-French contraire, contrairie, from Medieval Latin contrarius, from Latin, adjective, opposite, adverse, from contra opposite Date: 13th century 1. a fact or condition incompatible with another ; opposite — usually used with the 2. one of a pair of opposites 3. a. a proposition so related to another that though both may be false they cannot both be true — compare subcontrary b. either of two terms (as good and evil) that cannot both be affirmed of the same subject II. adjective Date: 14th century 1. being so different as to be at opposite extremes ; opposite <
come to the contrary conclusion
went off in contrary directions
; also being opposite to or in conflict with each other <
contrary viewpoints
2. being not in conformity with what is usual or expected <
actions contrary to company policy
contrary evidence
3. unfavorable — used of wind or weather 4. temperamentally unwilling to accept control or advice • contrarily adverbcontrariness noun Synonyms: contrary, perverse, restive, balky, wayward mean inclined to resist authority or control. contrary implies a temperamental unwillingness to accept orders or advice <
a contrary child
. perverse may imply wrongheaded, determined, or cranky opposition to what is reasonable or normal <
a perverse, intractable critic
. restive suggests unwillingness or inability to submit to discipline or follow orders <
tired soldiers growing restive
. balky suggests a refusing to proceed in a desired direction or course of action <
a balky witness
. wayward suggests strong-willed capriciousness and irregularity in behavior <
a school for wayward youths
. Synonym: see in addition opposite. III. adverb Date: 15th century contrariwise, contrarily

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry (? or ?; 48), a. [OE. contrarie, contraire, F. contraire, fr. L. contrarius, fr. contra. See {Contra }.] 1. Opposite; in an opposite direction; in opposition; adverse; as, contrary winds. [1913 Webster] And if ye walk contrary unto me …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary — I adjective abnegative, adversative, adverse, adversus, answering, antagonistic to, antipathetic, antithetic, antithetical, at cross purposes, at issue, at variance, averse, captious, conflicting, confutative, confuting, contradicting,… …   Law dictionary

  • contrary — n antithesis, opposite, contradictory, antonym, antipode (see under OPPOSITE adj) Analogous words: *converse, reverse contrary adj 1 antithetical, *opposite, contradictory, antonymous, antipodal, antipodean Analogous words: divergent, disparate,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contrary — [kän′trer΄ē; ] for adj.4, often [ kən trer′ē] adj. [ME contrarie < OFr contraire < L contrarius, opposite, opposed < contra, against] 1. opposed; in opposition [contrary to the rules] 2. opposite in nature, order, direction, etc.;… …   English World dictionary

  • Contrary — may refer to: Contrary motion, in music theory Contrary Magazine, a literary journal founded at the University of Chicago Contrary (social role), in certain Amerindian cultures Contrary (comics), a character from Malibu Comics Ultraverse Little… …   Wikipedia

  • contrary — 1. The position of the main stress has fluctuated over the centuries, and the OED notes that poets from Chaucer to Spenser and Shakespeare placed it on both the first and the second syllable according to need. In current English, the stress is… …   Modern English usage

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry, n.; pl. {Contraries}. 1. A thing that is of contrary or opposite qualities. [1913 Webster] No contraries hold more antipathy Than I and such a knave. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. An opponent; an enemy. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 3. the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary — mid 14c., from Anglo Fr. contrarie, from L. contrarius opposite, opposed, from contra against (see CONTRA (Cf. contra)). If we take the statement All men are mortal, its contrary is Not all men are mortal, its converse is All mortal beings are… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contrary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) opposite in nature, direction, or meaning. 2) (of two or more statements, beliefs, etc.) opposed to one another. 3) perversely inclined to do the opposite of what is expected or desired. ► NOUN (the contrary) ▪ the opposite. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • Contrary — Con tra*ry, v. t. [F. contrarier. See {Contrary}, a.] To contradict or oppose; to thwart. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I was advised not to contrary the king. Bp. Latimer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contrary — [adj] antagonistic; opposite adverse, anti, antipathetic, antipodal, antipodean, antithetical, balky, clashing, conflicting, contradictory, contrariant, contumacious, converse, counter, diametric, discordant, dissentient, dissident, froward,… …   New thesaurus

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