- To set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences: an essay that contrasts city and country life; contrasted this computer with inferior models. (verb-transitive)
- To show differences when compared: siblings who contrast sharply in interests and abilities; a color that contrasted clearly with the dark background. (verb-intransitive)
- Linguistics To evince a difference that can distinguish meaning: Voiced and voiceless stops contrast in English but not in Cree. (verb-intransitive)
- The act of contrasting; a setting off of dissimilar entities or objects. (noun)
- The state of being contrasted: red berries standing in vivid contrast against the snow. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.