Meaning of “contrast” in the English Dictionary

"contrast" in English

See all translations

contrastnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈkɒn.trɑːst/ us /ˈkɑːn.træst/

B2 an obvious difference between two or more things:

I like the contrast of the white trousers with the black jacket.
The antique furnishing provides an unusual contrast to the modernity of the building.
There's a marked contrast between his character and hers.
Their economy has expanded, while ours, by/in contrast, has declined.
The amount spent on defence is in stark/sharp (= in very noticeable) contrast to that spent on housing and health.
I love his use of contrast (= strong differences between light and darkness) in his later photographs.

More examples

contrastverb

uk /kənˈtrɑːst/ us /kənˈtræst/

C2 [ T ] to compare two people or things in order to show the differences between them:

If you contrast some of her early writing with her later work, you can see just how much she improved.

C2 [ I ] If one thing contrasts with another, it is very different from it:

The styles of the two film makers contrast quite dramatically.
The tartness of the lemons contrasts with the sweetness of the honey.

More examples

(Definition of “contrast” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"contrast" in American English

See all translations

contrastnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈkɑn·træst/

an easily noticed or understood difference between two or more things:

[ U ] She is quite petite, in contrast with her tall sister.
[ C ] Contrasts between Manhattan’s rich and poor astonished him.

art In art and photographs, contrast is the difference between dark and light colors or dark and light areas.

contrastverb [ I/T ]

us /kənˈtræst/

to compare someone or something with another or others, or to show the differences between two or more things:

[ T ] She contrasted Hamilton’s Federalist ideas with the Anti-Federalist views of Thomas Jefferson.
[ I ] His aggressive style contrasts sharply with that of his low-key predecessor.

(Definition of “contrast” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.

contrast

There thus does not need to be a huge contrast between the policy of damage limitation and the policy of drug prevention.
In contrast, we are seeing the world divided between those who uphold human rights and those who want to brutally extinguish them.
To reach a balance in a regulation of such importance, when so many often-conflicting interests are affected, is, in contrast, rather more difficult.
Positive action, in contrast, makes it possible to draw certain disadvantaged groups’ attention to specific measures of relevance to them, for example where recruitment policies are concerned.
By contrast, imports of canned tuna and semi-processed products, such as tuna fillets, are subject to a tariff rate of 24%.
There are some concrete measures and proposals on how to simplify life for the user of small grants, in contrast to the millions used for infrastructure or research projects.
Mass death from biological agents, or diseases like the plague, appear by contrast to be part of 'ancient history' or science fiction.
Unfortunately, however, we spoke little about the context and, by contrast, we allowed a school of thought to burgeon that the problem was actually in the text.
By contrast, transport by the single wagon load technique is of little interest for private companies given its very limited profitability.
In contrast to the rapporteur's position, we believe that intervention in the markets and regulation instruments should, in fact, be the rule rather than the exception.