from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of contrary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Propositions which directly and destructively contradict each other, but of which the falsehood of one does not establish the truth of the other.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Not to mention the curious story about Galen and the patient ill from an overdose of theriacum, who was cured by another dose of the same substance, nor the ridicule of the doctrine of contraries by Paracelsus and Van Helmont, nor the fact that the _contraries_ of Boerhaave, by his own explanation, merely signify whatever substances prove their contrariety to the disease by curing it -- to pass by these, we find one of the main objects of homoeopathy, the discovery of specifics, insisted upon by Lord Bacon in his words already quoted.

    A Dish of Orts : Chiefly Papers on the Imagination, and on Shakespeare

  • From both these schools, then, we can learn this much, that the contraries are the principles of things; and how many these principles are and which they are, we can learn from one of the two schools.


  • And nearly all thinkers agree that being and substance are composed of contraries; at least all name contraries as their first principles-some name odd and even, some hot and cold, some limit and the unlimited, some love and strife.


  • Again, in the case of contraries, it is possible that there should be changes from either into the other, while the subject retains its identity, unless indeed one of the contraries is a constitutive property of that subject, as heat is of fire.


  • There is a sense, therefore, in which we must declare the principles to be two, and a sense in which they are three; a sense in which the contraries are the principles-say for example the musical and the unmusical, the hot and the cold, the tuned and the untuned-and a sense in which they are not, since it is impossible for the contraries to be acted on by each other.


  • As, however, man is not born into those loves, but into their contraries, that is to say, into the loves of self and of the world, therefore he cannot but be born in complete ignorance and want of knowledge But by Divine means he is brought to something of intelligence and wisdom, yet not actually into any, unless the loves of self and of the world are removed, and a way is thus opened for love to God and towards the neighbour.

    Earths In Our Solar System Which Are Called Planets, and Earths In The Starry Heaven Their Inhabitants, And The Spirits And Angels There

  • If the objection is particular, the objector must frame his contradiction with reference to a term relatively to which the subject of his opponent's premiss is universal, e.g. he will point out that the knowable and the unknowable are not subjects of the same science: 'contraries' is universal relatively to these.


  • The "contraries" are the anvil and the hammer which slowly forge souls by producing what might be called sensation in general, and sensation is a fertile cause of suffering each time the vehicles of consciousness receive vibrations that greatly exceed their fundamental capacity of sensation.

    Reincarnation A Study in Human Evolution

  • The action of multiplicity, and of its creators, the "contraries," engenders still other causes of suffering.

    Reincarnation A Study in Human Evolution

  • Never reveal the secret of the Jolly Roger: the crossbones are the crossings—the lines that separate the contraries and opposites.

    The Bushman Way of Tracking God


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