The adjective contrastive means "showing the difference between two things when you compare them" — like a contrastive analysis of American and British English.

To contrast two things is to think about how they are different. So, the adjective contrastive is used to describe things that differ from one another. Contrastive colors in a painting can create an interesting image, while contrasting personalities can spark a feud. In language, contrastive words show contrast between two parts of a sentence; words like but and though are examples.

Definitions of contrastive
  1. adjective
    strikingly different; tending to contrast
    synonyms: contrasting
    unlike in nature, quality, form, or degree
  2. adjective
    of words so related that one contrasts with the other
    “`rich' and `hard-up' are contrastive terms”
    synonyms: incompatible
    of words: having opposite meanings
  3. adjective
    syntactically establishing a relation of contrast between sentences or elements of a sentence
    “disjunctive conjunctions like `but', `or', or `though' serve a contrastive function”
    serving or tending to divide or separate
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘contrastive'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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