from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition In contrast or opposition to; against.
  • adverb In opposition to something stated or expected; to the contrary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A Latin adverb and preposition (and prefix), meaning ‘against,’ ‘over against,’ ‘opposite,’ ‘in front of,’ orig. ‘in comparison with’: used in the phrase per contra, and, abbreviated, in pro and con; also in various legal phrases, as contra bonos mores; usually as a prefix in words taken from the Latin or Romance languages, or formed analogously in English. In introducing a legal citation it means ‘to the contrary.’ See contra-.
  • noun The contrary or opposite side or thing: in bookkeeping, the opposite side or column of an account; especially the right-hand or credit side (in which appear the items against the person whose books are kept).
  • A prefix of Latin origin, meaning ‘against,’ ‘over against,’ ‘opposite’; doublet of counter-. See contra and counter-.
  • noun In organ-building, in the names of stops, indicating a stop whose tones are an octave below the pitch of the keys used: as, contragamba, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • A Latin adverb and preposition, signifying against, contrary, in opposition, etc., entering as a prefix into the composition of many English words. Cf. counter, adv. & pref.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • preposition against; contrary or opposed to
  • adverb to the contrary to something
  • noun business a deal to swap goods or services
  • noun accounting an entry that cancels another entry
  • noun informal any of the musical instruments in the contrabass range, e.g. contrabassoon, contrabass clarinet or, especially, double bass
  • noun contra dance

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a member of the guerrilla force that opposed a left-wing government in Nicaragua


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin contrā, against; see kom in Indo-European roots.]


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