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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce contrarian (audio)

Dictionary definition of contrarian

An individual who consistently takes a contrary or opposing stance to prevailing opinions, beliefs, or trends.
"Emily's contrarian nature made her question popular trends and opt for unique choices."

Detailed meaning of contrarian

A contrarian challenges the mainstream consensus and intentionally seeks out alternative viewpoints or perspectives. They often exhibit a willingness to question established norms, challenge conventional wisdom, and engage in independent thinking. Contrarians derive satisfaction from holding opinions or taking actions that differ from the majority, regardless of popular sentiment. They thrive on intellectual debate and enjoy presenting alternative arguments to stimulate critical thinking and broaden perspectives. While contrarians may be seen as provocative or disruptive, their dissenting viewpoints can contribute to healthy discussions, challenge groupthink, and encourage a deeper examination of ideas and assumptions. Contrarians play a vital role in pushing boundaries, promoting innovation, and preventing the stifling of diverse viewpoints within society.

Example sentences containing contrarian

1. The contrarian always took the opposite position in debates, challenging everyone's assumptions.
2. John's contrarian viewpoint sparked heated discussions among his peers.
3. The contrarian writer offered a fresh perspective that challenged readers' conventional thinking.
4. Despite the consensus, the contrarian investor chose to go against the market trend.
5. The contrarian artist purposely avoided popular styles, striving for originality instead.
6. The contrarian's refusal to conform to societal expectations earned them a reputation as an outsider.

History and etymology of contrarian

The noun 'contrarian' is derived from the adjective 'contrary,' which has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'contrarius,' meaning 'opposite' or 'opposing.' 'Contrary' evolved in English to describe something that is opposite in nature or goes against prevailing norms. The suffix '-an' was added to 'contrary' to form 'contrarian,' indicating a person who consistently takes an opposing stance to prevailing opinions, beliefs, or trends. Thus, the etymology of 'contrarian' reflects its essence as someone who goes against the grain, often challenging conventional wisdom or popular consensus. It highlights the idea of taking a path that runs contrary to the mainstream, embodying a spirit of independence and dissent.

Quiz: Find the meaning of contrarian

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Further usage examples of contrarian

1. Contrarian voices in the meeting raised thought-provoking questions and alternative solutions.
2. The contrarian scientist's research findings contradicted established theories, causing controversy.
3. Emma's contrarian approach to problem-solving often yielded unconventional but effective results.
4. The contrarian philosopher challenged established philosophies and proposed radical new ideas.
5. Contrarians thrive on debate, relishing the opportunity to offer dissenting opinions and challenge the status quo.
6. As a contrarian, she always challenges conventional wisdom.
7. The contrarian's dissenting voice added depth to the discussion.
8. He's known as a contrarian because he questions everything.
9. The contrarian's viewpoint often sparks lively debates.
10. Being a contrarian can be isolating in a conformist society.
11. The contrarian's ideas often disrupt the status quo.
12. She's a proud contrarian, never afraid to voice her dissent.
13. The contrarian's skepticism is a valuable perspective.
14. The contrarian's critique exposed flaws in the plan.
15. His role as a contrarian has made him unpopular at times.
16. The contrarian's refusal to follow trends is admirable.
17. Being a contrarian requires courage and conviction.
18. The contrarian's nonconformity challenges the norm.
19. The contrarian's unique insights often lead to innovation.
20. Her reputation as a contrarian precedes her.
21. The contrarian's perspective adds depth to the team.
22. He's the contrarian who questions the status quo.
23. The contrarian's independence of thought is commendable.
24. The contrarian's dissenting opinions are thought-provoking.
25. As a contrarian, he's used to swimming against the current.



dissenter, conformist, follower, traditionalist


SAT 10 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 12, Opposites and Differences

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