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Definition of "contrary" []

  • Opposed, as in character or purpose: contrary opinions; acts that are contrary to our code of ethics. (adjective)
  • Opposite in direction or position: Our boat took a course contrary to theirs. See Synonyms at opposite. (adjective)
  • Music Moving in the opposite direction at a fixed interval: playing scales in contrary motion. (adjective)
  • Adverse; unfavorable: a contrary wind. (adjective)
  • Given to recalcitrant behavior; willful or perverse. (adjective)

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.

Use "contrary" in a sentence
  • "'That as to what they had been advised, viz. to enter into any treaty, contrary to the free government right, which they had obtained, and which they still enjoyed, they considered it as _contrary to God, their honor, and their safety_.'"
  • "But whether it should or not, I am desirous that these words in the introduction to the extracts, vizt., — and as it has a malicious appear - ance to insinuate to the contrary — should be changed for the following, vizt., — hut as U has heen maliciously insinu - ated to the contrary* As the bearer waits I cannot add save, that I am with much regard, d 'S',"
  • "On the contrary, if there were any of these compounded Bodies, in which the Nature of one Element did not prevail over the rest, but they were all equally mix'd, and a match one for the other; then one of them would not abate the Force of the other, any more than its own Force is abated by it, but they would work upon one another with equal Power, and the Operation of any one of them would not be more conspicuous than that of the rest; and this Body would be far from being like to any one of the Elements, but would be as if it had nothing _contrary_ to its"