Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the act of distinguishing by comparing differences
  2. (noun, attribute) the range of optical density and tone on a photographic negative or print (or the extent to which adjacent areas on a television screen differ in brightness)
  3. (noun, cognition) the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors
  4. (noun, cognition) a conceptual separation or distinction
  5. (noun, linkdef) the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared
    by contrast
  6. (verb, cognition) put in opposition to show or emphasize differences
  7. (verb, stative) to show differences when compared; be different

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Contrast

  1. late 17c., from Fr. contraster, from It. contrastare "stand out against," from V.L. *contrastare "to withstand," from L. contra "against" (see contra) + stare "to stand," from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). M.E. had contrest "to fight against, to withstand," which became extinct. Modern word re-introduced as an art term. R… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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