American English

Definition of contrast noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a difference between two or more people or things that you can see clearly when they are compared or put close together; the fact of comparing two or more things in order to show the differences between them contrast (between A and B) There is an obvious contrast between the cultures of East and West. contrast (to somebody/something) The company lost $7 million this quarter in contrast to a profit of $6.2 million a year earlier. The situation when we arrived was in marked contrast to the news reports. The poverty of her childhood stands in total contrast to her life in Hollywood. contrast (with somebody/something) to show a sharp/stark/striking contrast with something contrast (in something) A wool jacket complements the silk shirt and provides an interesting contrast in texture. When you look at their new system, ours seems very old-fashioned by contrast. contrast (of something) Careful contrast of the two plans shows some important differences.
  2. 2[countable] contrast (to somebody/something) a person or thing that is clearly different from someone or something else The work you did today is quite a contrast to (= very much better/worse than) what you did last week.
  3. 3[uncountable] differences in color or in light and dark, used in photographs and paintings to create a special effect The artist's use of contrast is masterly.
  4. 4[uncountable] the amount of difference between light and dark in a picture on a television, computer, etc., screen Use this button to adjust the contrast.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: contrast

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