contrary


contrary
contrary n antithesis, opposite, contradictory, antonym, antipode (see under OPPOSITE adj)
Analogous words: *converse, reverse
contrary adj
1 antithetical, *opposite, contradictory, antonymous, antipodal, antipodean
Analogous words: divergent, disparate, *different: counter, antagonistic, *adverse: negating, nullifying (see NULLIFY)
2 Contrary, perverse, restive, balky, froward, wayward are comparable when they mean given to opposing or resisting wishes, commands, conditions, or circumstances.
A person is contrary who by nature or disposition is so self-willed that he cannot or will not accept dictation or advice
{

she is the most contrary child I have ever seen

}
or who vigorously objects to any arrangements or plans made by others
{

they've been in your way all these years, and you've always complained of them, so don't be contrary, sir— Cather

}
A person or sometimes one of his acts, utterances, or desires is perverse when he or it as a result of temperament or disposition, or sometimes of physical constitution or moral character, runs counter to what is right, true, correct, or in keeping with human nature, especially as determined by the moral law, by custom, or by the laws of nature or the state. Like contrary, the term may suggest obstinate willfulness, but even then it usually carries a stronger suggestion of wrongheadedness
{

perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth—/ Tim 6:5

}
{

they will not be resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinate— Burke

}
More often, however, the term suggests defiance of or disobedience to the law, especially the moral law or the established proprieties
{

Rimbaud was the rebel incarnate ... he was perverse, untractable, adamant—until the very last hour— Henry Miller

}
{

the poet's sense of responsibility to nothing but his own inner voice is perhaps his only way of preserving poetic integrity against the influences of a perverse generation— Day Lewis

}
Perverse sometimes suggests perversion or a sexual maladjustment that reveals itself in aberrant or abnormal desires or acts
{

the presence of a small minority of abnormal or perverse persons . . . affords no excuse for restricting the liberty of the many to the standard of the few— Ellis

}
{

the last perverse whim which has taken possession of the debauchee— Krutch

}
A person is restive (see also IMPATIENT) who obstinately refuses to obey the commands or the will of another; the term may imply inaction or a turning in another direction but more often it suggests intractability or unruliness
{

the common man ... is increasingly restive under the state of "things as they are"—Veblen

}
{

your colonies become suspicious, restive, and untractable— Burke

}
A person or, more often, an animal (as a horse) is balky when he or it stops short and refuses to go further in the desired direction or in the performance of something undertaken
{

the horse was never balky unless he was overloaded

}
{

a child may become balky when he is confused by too many orders

}
{

examination of witnesses, mostly reluctant if not downright balkyThe Nation

}
A person (often a child) is froward who is so contrary or so prone to disobedience that he will not comply with the most reasonable of requests or suggestions; the term usually suggests a characteristic rather than an occasional or a justifiable reaction
{

all the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them— Prov 8:8

}
{

I never entered on disobedience without having settled with myself that the fun of it would be worth the pains, scorned repentance, and endured correction with a philosophy which got me the reputation of being a hardened and froward child— Mary Austin

}
A person is wayward who is so perverse that he is incapable of government by those in authority over him and therefore goes his own way, however wanton, capricious, or depraved it may be
{

an institution for wayward girls

}
{

I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now— Tennyson

}
Things that are erratic or follow no clear law or principle are also describable as wayward
{

wayward fancies

}
{

a wayward breeze

}
Analogous words: refractory, recalcitrant, intractable, headstrong, *unruly: contumacious, rebellious, *insubordinate
Antonyms: good-natured, complaisant
Contrasted words: *amiable, obliging: *compliant, acquiescent: amenable, tractable (see OBEDIENT)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms: