Against All Odds: Contra and Counter

Learn these words that contain the roots contra or counter, meaning "against" or "opposite."

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. contraband
    goods whose trade or possession is prohibited by law
    He moonlights as a smuggler, ferrying mail, contraband, and people across the broad Potomac into Virginia.Lincoln's Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
  2. contradict
    prove negative; show to be false
    He also read from a letter that contradicted her claim that she never wanted to return to work again.The Guardian (Jun 5, 2017)
  3. contraindicate
    suggest that something (e.g., a treatment) is inadvisable
    The drug can also cause seizures and is contraindicated in people with seizure disorders.Forbes (Sep 10, 2014)
  4. contrary
    very opposed in nature or character or purpose
    Constantly look for contrary evidence and alternative explanations.Slate (Jun 12, 2017)
  5. contrast
    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared
    The contrast suggests drastically different choices to some community leaders.Washington Post (Jun 8, 2017)
  6. contravene
    go against, as of rules and laws
    And by some estimates, as many as two-thirds of those boats engage in fishing that contravenes international or national laws.Seattle Times (Apr 29, 2017)
  7. controversial
    marked by or capable of arousing disagreement
    It's still a controversial theory, and more research is needed.Time (Jun 8, 2017)
  8. controversy
    a dispute where there is strong disagreement
    There is much uncertainty about the interpretation of experimental data and a great deal of controversy surrounding the theories.The Sense of Style
  9. controvert
    prove to be false or incorrect
    Indeed, replications that confirm previous results typically get less attention than those that controvert them.New York Times (Apr 22, 2013)
  10. counterargument
    an opinion offered in opposition to another position
    Citations assure the reader that you have engaged with the strongest counterarguments and facts.Slate (Feb 18, 2013)
  11. counterfeit
    not genuine; imitating something superior
    Police are asking shop owners and customers to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills when exchanging money.Washington Times (May 14, 2017)
  12. counterintuitive
    contrary to what common sense would suggest
    It seems counterintuitive, but physical activity is a powerful antidote for fatigue.Washington Post (May 12, 2017)
  13. countermand
    cancel officially
    Lincoln, upon learning of this order, immediately countermanded it.Forbes (Mar 17, 2015)
  14. counterpart
    a person or thing having the same function as another
    British officials, like their American counterparts, would like to create a digital backdoor to this technology.New York Times (Jun 19, 2017)
  15. encounter
    come upon, as if by accident
    “Good morning!” he called cheerfully to a woman he encountered on the path.Messenger

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