Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “contrary”

See all translations

contrary

noun [S] uk   /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/ us    /ˈkɑːn.tre-/
the contrary the opposite: I was worried that it might be too difficult for me but I found the contrary.on the contrary B2 used to show that you think or feel the opposite of what has just been stated: "Didn't you find the film exciting?" "On the contrary, I nearly fell asleep half way through it!"to the contrary C1 saying or showing the opposite: For a long time it was thought to be a harmless substance, but we now have proof/evidence to the contrary.

contrary

adjective uk   us  

contrary adjective (OPPOSITE)

C1   /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/    /ˈkɑːn.tre-/ opposite: a contrary point of view Contrary to all our expectations, he's found a well-paid job and a nice girlfriend.contrary to popular opinion     /ˈkɒn.trə.ri/  /ˈkɑːn.tre-/ in a different way from what most people believe: Contrary to popular opinion, I don't dye my hair!

contrary adjective (NOT REASONABLE)

  /kənˈtreə.ri/    /-ˈtrer.i/ A contrary person wants to disagree with and annoy other people: He doesn't really mean it - he's just being contrary.
Translations of “contrary”
in Spanish contrario a…
in French contraire (à), contrairement (à)…
in German entgegengesetzt…
(Definition of contrary from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of contrary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “contrary” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

baby

a very young child, especially one that has not yet begun to walk or talk

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More