The verb contrast means to show a difference, like photos that reveal how much weight someone lost by contrasting the “before” and “after” shots.

You probably know contrast in its relation to compare. To contrast something is to look for differences among two or more elements, but compare is to do the opposite, to look for similarities. It’s easy to tell the difference if you remember that contrast comes from the Latin root contra, and means “against.” Contrast is also a noun meaning basically the same thing — you might notice the contrast of a dark tree against a snow-covered hill.

Definitions of contrast
  1. noun

    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared

    contrast to”, “by contrast”
    direct contrast
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    type of:

    oppositeness, opposition

    the relation between opposed entities

  2. noun

    the act of distinguishing by comparing differences

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    type of:

    comparing, comparison

    the act of examining resemblances

  3. noun

    a conceptual separation or distinction

    demarcation, dividing line, line
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    Rubicon, point of no return

    a line that when crossed permits of no return and typically results in irrevocable commitment
    type of:

    differentiation, distinction

    a discrimination between things as different and distinct

  4. noun

    the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors

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    type of:

    beholding, seeing, visual perception

    perception by means of the eyes

  5. noun

    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)

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    type of:

    ambit, compass, orbit, range, reach, scope

    an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: “the range of a supersonic jet”

  6. verb

    put in opposition to show or emphasize differences

    “The middle school teacher
    contrasted her best student’s work with that of her weakest student”

  7. verb

    show differences when compared; be different

    “the students
    contrast considerably in their artistic abilities”
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    counterbalance, oppose

    contrast with equal weight or force

    be in conflict

    enhance by contrast
    counterpoise, counterpose, counterweight

    constitute a counterweight or counterbalance to
    clash, collide, jar

    be incompatible; be or come into conflict
    type of:


    be different

Word Family