contrary

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English contrarie, compare French contraire, from Old French contraire, from Latin contrārius (opposite, opposed, contrary), from contrā (against).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɒntɹəɹi/, /kənˈtɹɛəɹi/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɑntɹɛɹi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛəɹi (some pronunciations)

AdjectiveEdit

contrary (comparative more contrary, superlative most contrary)

  1. Opposite; in an opposite direction; in opposition; adverse.
    contrary winds
  2. Opposed; contradictory; inconsistent.
    • 1847, William Whewell, “Sequel to Copernicus—The Reception and Development of the Copernican Theory”, in History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to the Present Times. [], volume I, new edition, London: John W[illiam] Parker, [], OCLC 1071775747, book V (History of Formal Astronomy after the Stationary Period), section 4 (The Copernican System Opposed on Theological Grounds), page 419:
      Galileo [Galilei]'s zeal for his opinions soon led him again to bring the question under the notice of the Pope, and the result was a declaration of the Inquisition that the doctrine of the earth's motion appeared to be contrary to the sacred scripture.
  3. Given to opposition; perverse; wayward.
    a contrary disposition; a contrary child

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AdverbEdit

contrary (comparative more contrary, superlative most contrary)

  1. Contrarily

NounEdit

contrary (plural contraries)

  1. The opposite.
  2. (logic) One of a pair of propositions that cannot both be simultaneously true, though they may both be false.
    • 1725, Isaac Watts, Logick, or The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth With a Variety of Rules to Guard:
      If two universals differ in quality, they are contraries; as, every vine is a tree; no vine is a tree. These can never be both true together; but they may be both false.

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VerbEdit

contrary (third-person singular simple present contraries, present participle contrarying, simple past and past participle contraried)

  1. (obsolete) To oppose; to frustrate.
    • 1549 April 29 (Gregorian calendar), Hughe Latymer [i.e., Hugh Latimer]; Augustine Bernher, compiler, “[27 Sermons Preached by the Ryght Reuerende Father in God and Constant Matir of Iesus Christe, Maister Hugh Latimer, [].] The Seuenth Sermon of Maister Hugh Latymer, which He Preached before King Edward [VI], the .19. Day of Aprill.”, in Certayn Godly Sermons, Made uppon the Lords Prayer, [], London: [] John Day, [], published 1562, OCLC 12219849, folio 93, recto:
      You that be of the court, & eſpecially ye ſworn chaplains beware of a leſſon that a great man taught me at my firſt coming to the court he told me for a good will, he thoughte it wel. He ſayd vnto me. You muſt beware how ſo euer ye do that ye cõtrary not the king, let him haue his ſaiyngs, folow him, go with him. Mary out vpon this counſel, ſhal I ſay, as he ſayes?
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 47, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book I, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      The Athenians having left the enemie in their owne land, for to pass into Sicilie, had very ill successe, and were much contraried by fortune [].
  2. (obsolete) To impugn.
  3. (obsolete) To contradict (someone or something).
  4. (obsolete) To do the opposite of (someone or something).
  5. (obsolete) To act inconsistently or perversely; to act in opposition to.
  6. (obsolete) To argue; to debate; to uphold an opposite opinion.
  7. (obsolete) To be self-contradictory; to become reversed.

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