# contrary

Contrary is part of the Academic Word List. It is important for students in college and university.

### Pronunciation

• (UK) IPA (key): /ˈkɒntrəri/ or /kənˈtrɛəri/
• (US) IPA (key): /ˈkɑntrɛri/
•  Audio (US) (file)

## Preposition

 Prepositioncontrary
1. If an act or idea is contrary to something, it is against it.
The president's actions are contrary to the constitution and therefore illegal.
2. You use "contrary to ${\displaystyle x}$, ${\displaystyle y}$" when people believe ${\displaystyle x}$, but in fact ${\displaystyle y}$ is true.
Contrary to popular belief, Eskimos don't have huge numbers of 'snow' words.
What she told me was contrary to everything I had ever heard.
"On the contrary", which is from Hamlet