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contrary

[kon-trer-ee; for 5 also kuh n-trair-ee] /ˈkɒn trɛr i; for 5 also kənˈtrɛər i/
adjective
1.
opposite in nature or character; diametrically or mutually opposed:
contrary to fact; contrary propositions.
2.
opposite in direction or position:
departures in contrary directions.
3.
being the opposite one of two:
I will make the contrary choice.
4.
unfavorable or adverse.
5.
perverse; stubbornly opposed or willful.
noun, plural contraries.
6.
something that is contrary or opposite:
to prove the contrary of a statement.
7.
either of two contrary things.
8.
Logic. a proposition so related to another proposition that both may not be true though both may be false, as with the propositions “All judges are male” and “No judges are male.”.
adverb
9.
in opposition; oppositely; counter:
to act contrary to one's own principles.
Idioms
10.
by contraries, contrary to expectation.
11.
on the contrary,
  1. in opposition to what has been stated.
  2. from another point of view:
    On the contrary, there may be some who would agree with you.
12.
to the contrary,
  1. to the opposite effect:
    I believe he is innocent, whatever they may say to the contrary.
  2. to a different effect.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English contrarie < Anglo-French < Latin contrārius. See contra1, -ary
Related forms
contrarily
[kon-trer-uh-lee, kuh n-trair-] /ˈkɒn trɛr ə li, kənˈtrɛər-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
contrariness, noun
quasi-contrarily, adverb
quasi-contrary, adjective
Synonyms
1. contradictory, conflicting, counter. See opposite. 4. unfriendly, hostile. Contrary, adverse both describe something that opposes. Contrary conveys an idea of something impersonal and objective whose opposition happens to be unfavorable: contrary winds. Adverse suggests something more personally unfriendly or even hostile; it emphasizes the idea of the resulting misfortune to that which is opposed: The judge rendered a decision adverse to the defendant. 5. intractable, obstinate, headstrong, stubborn, pig-headed.
Antonyms
4. favorable. 5. obliging, complaisant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for contrary
  • contrary to popular opinion, cheese and wine aren't an easy match.
  • But contrary to myth, he never sharpened his spikes.
  • And, contrary to popular perceptions, mammals did not escape the extinction event unscathed.
  • On the contrary, he was their enemy's enemy and thus their friend, emancipator and guardian.
  • contrary to popular belief, cats aren't as independent as many people think.
  • However, contrary to the popular saying, you can be too thin.
  • contrary to popular belief, cooking alcohol does not burn it all off.
  • contrary to prevailing wisdom, large earthquakes can interact in unexpected ways.
  • contrary to conventional wisdom, heart muscle cells do regenerate after heart attacks, researchers have found.
  • contrary to popular belief, morality is not relative.
British Dictionary definitions for contrary

contrary

/ˈkɒntrərɪ/
adjective
1.
opposed in nature, position, etc contrary ideas
2.
(kənˈtrɛərɪ). perverse; obstinate
3.
(esp of wind) adverse; unfavourable
4.
(of plant parts) situated at right angles to each other
5.
(logic) (of a pair of propositions) related so that they cannot both be true at once, although they may both be false together Compare subcontrary (sense 2), contradictory (sense 3)
noun (pl) -ries
6.
the exact opposite (esp in the phrase to the contrary)
7.
on the contrary, quite the reverse; not at all
8.
either of two exactly opposite objects, facts, or qualities
9.
(logic) a statement that cannot be true when a given statement is true
adverb (usually foll by to)
10.
in an opposite or unexpected way contrary to usual belief
11.
in conflict (with) or contravention (of) contrary to nature
Derived Forms
contrariness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin contrārius opposite, from contrā against
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for contrary
contrary
mid-14c., from Anglo-Fr. contrarie, from L. contrarius "opposite, opposed," from contra "against" (see 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 men, & its opposite is No men are mortal. The contrary, however, does not exclude the opposite, but includes it as its most extreme form. Thus This is white has only one opposite, This is black, but many contraries, as This is not white, This is coloured, This is dirty, This is black; & whether the last form is called the contrary, or more emphatically the opposite, is usually indifferent. But to apply the opposite to a mere contrary (e.g. to I did not hit him in relation to I hit him, which has no opposite), or to the converse (e.g. to He hit me in relation to I hit him, to which it is neither contrary nor opposite), is a looseness that may easily result in misunderstanding; the temptation to go wrong is intelligible when it is remembered that with certain types of sentence (A exceeds B) the converse & the opposite are identical (B exceeds A)." [Fowler]
Related: Contrarily (mid-16c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with contrary
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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