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

n the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared

“"in contrast to", "by contrast”
direct contrast
Type of:
oppositeness, opposition
the relation between opposed entities

n the act of distinguishing by comparing differences

Type of:
comparing, comparison
the act of examining resemblances

n a conceptual separation or distinction

demarcation, dividing line, line
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

n the perceptual effect of the juxtaposition of very different colors

Type of:
beholding, seeing, visual perception
perception by means of the eyes

n 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)

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"

v put in opposition to show or emphasize differences

“The middle school teacher contrasted her best student's work with that of her weakest student”
Type of:
differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, separate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
mark as different

v 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

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