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From Middle French contrariété, from Late Latin contrarietas, from contrarius, from contra (against). Compare contrary.



contrariety (countable and uncountable, plural contrarieties)

  1. Opposition or contrariness; cross-purposes, marked contrast.
    • 1603, John Florio, transl.; Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in The Essayes, [], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      What differences of sense and reason, what contrarietie of imaginations doth the diversitie of our passions present unto us?
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin 2003, p.61:
      This contrariety of humours betwixt my father and my uncle, was the source of many a fraternal squabble.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
      The wind blowing steady and gentle from the south, thee was no contrariety between that and the current, and the billows rose and fell unbroken.
    • 2011, Tim Blanning, "The reinvention of the night", Times Literary Supplement, 21 Sep.:
      At the heart of his argument is the contrariety between day and night, light and dark.