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CONTRARY, adjective [Latin , against.]

1. Opposite; adverse; moving against or in an opposite direction; as contrary winds.

2. Opposite; contradictory; not merely different, but inconsistent or repugnant.

The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other. Galatians 5:17.

This adjective, in many phrases, is to be treated grammatically as an adverb, or as an adjective referring to a sentence or affirmation; as, this happened contrary to my expectations. The word here really belongs to the affirmation or fact declared, this happened; for contrary does not, like an adverb, express the manner of happening, but that the fact itself was contrary to my expectation. According, agreeable, pursuant, antecedent, prior, anterior, etc., are often used in the like manner.


1. A thing that is contrary or of opposite qualities.

No contraries hold more antipathy, than I and such a knave.

2. A proposition contrary to another, or a fact contrary to what is alledged; as, this is stated to be a fact, but I will endeavor to show the contrary

On the contrary in opposition; on the other side.

To the contrary to an opposite purpose, or fact.

They did it, not for want of instruction to the contrary

He said it was just, but I told him to the contrary

CONTRARY, verb transitive To contradict or oppose.