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Word of the Day
Monday, October 14, 2002

Definitions for contradistinction

  1. distinction by opposition or contrast: plants and animals in contradistinction to humans.

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Citations for contradistinction
Later on, I spent almost ten years in various towns in the Federal Republic, which struck me as brighter and more spacious than my native country; and in Germany, in contradistinction to Austria, where, so it seemed to me, hardly anyone spoke my language, I was sometimes able to express an opinion with passion… Peter Handke, translated by Ralph Manheim, Slow Homecoming, 1985
These days we adhere to the Italian model, which is to say we believe in taking the best ingredients we can find and doing as little as possible to them. This is in absolute contradistinction to the old French way, which enshrined the belief that cooking was a transformational act: any foodstuff, no matter how humble, could, through loving attention, long hours of simmering and a great deal of skill (and butter), be turned into something heart-stoppingly delicious. Nigella Lawson, "At My Table; Bless Butter, Cream And Simple French Fare" New York Times, October 16, 2002
Origin of contradistinction
Contradistinction arose in the 1600s as a combination of contra-, meaning "in contrast," and distinction, meaning "a marking as different."