Ask Difference

Contrary vs. Downside — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 23, 2023
"Contrary" means opposite in nature or direction. "Downside" refers to the negative aspect or disadvantage of something. Both relate to negatives but in distinct contexts.
Contrary vs. Downside — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Contrary and Downside

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Key Differences

"Contrary" often alludes to something being the opposite of a given fact or a common belief. It can describe things, attitudes, or situations that are diametrically different. On the other hand, "Downside" speaks to the negative aspects or the disadvantages associated with a particular thing or situation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
While "Contrary" implies a stark difference or opposition, "Downside" focuses on the less favorable part of a situation or item. For example, the contrary of a widely held belief might be an unpopular opinion, while the downside of a beneficial situation could be its unintended negative consequences.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
In usage, "Contrary" often appears when emphasizing the reversal or opposite nature of something. It could be used in sentences like "Contrary to popular belief, cats are not aloof creatures." Meanwhile, "Downside" is commonly used when weighing the pros and cons, such as "The downside to this investment is its high risk."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
The nuances between "Contrary" and "Downside" are vital. While the former highlights a stark contrast, the latter pinpoints the negative facet of a broader picture. It's essential to understand this distinction to utilize these words effectively in communication.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
Both words, "Contrary" and "Downside," enrich our language by providing ways to discuss opposition and disadvantages. Still, they serve distinct purposes and should be chosen carefully based on the intended meaning.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Indicates opposition
Indicates a negative aspect
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Usage

Emphasizes reversal or opposite
Highlights a disadvantage
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Context

Often used against a known fact or belief
Used when weighing pros and cons
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Nov 23, 2023

Grammatical Role

Can be a noun, adjective, or adverb
Typically used as a noun
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Associated Emphasis

Contrast or opposition
Negative facet of a situation or item
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Compare with Definitions

Contrary

Opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.
Her actions were contrary to her words.
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Oct 13, 2023

Downside

The negative aspect or disadvantage of something.
The downside of the deal was the high cost.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

Contradictory in character.
His calm demeanor is contrary to his aggressive gameplay.
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Oct 13, 2023

Downside

A disadvantageous aspect of a situation or product.
Every investment has its potential downside.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

Opposed, as in character or purpose
Contrary opinions.
Acts that are contrary to our code of ethics.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Downside

The part of a situation that is considered less favorable.
The only downside to the trip was the weather.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

Opposite in direction or position
Our boat took a course contrary to theirs.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

The potential negative outcomes.
She didn't see any downside to her decision.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

(Music) Moving in the opposite direction at a fixed interval
Playing scales in contrary motion.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

The unfavorable part or side.
The downside to his promotion was the added stress.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

Adverse; unfavorable
A contrary wind.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Downside

The lower side or portion.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(also kən-trârē) Given to recalcitrant behavior; willful or perverse.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

A disadvantageous aspect
An option with a downside as well as benefits.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Something that is opposite or contrary.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

A downward tendency, as in the price of a stock.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Either of two opposing or contrary things
"Truth is perhaps ... a dynamic compound of opposites, savage contraries for a moment conjoined" (A. Bartlett Giamatti).
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

A disadvantageous aspect of something that is normally advantageous.
The downside of obtaining a higher rank is that far more work is expected.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(Logic) A proposition related to another in such a way that if the latter is true, the former must be false, but if the latter is false, the former is not necessarily true.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

A downward tendency, especially in the price of shares etc.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

In an opposite direction or manner; counter
The judge ruled contrary to all precedent in the case.
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

The side of something that is at the bottom, or that is intended to face downward.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Opposite; in an opposite direction; in opposition; adverse.
Contrary winds
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Oct 12, 2023

Downside

A negative aspect of something that is generally positive;
There is a downside even to motherhood
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Opposed; contradictory; inconsistent.
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Contrary

Given to opposition; perverse; wayward.
A contrary disposition; a contrary child
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Contrarily
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Contrary

The opposite.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(logic) One of a pair of propositions that cannot both be simultaneously true, though they may both be false.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To oppose; to frustrate.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To impugn.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To contradict (someone or something).
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To do the opposite of (someone or something).
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To act inconsistently or perversely; to act in opposition to.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To argue; to debate; to uphold an opposite opinion.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

(obsolete) To be self-contradictory; to become reversed.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Opposite; in an opposite direction; in opposition; adverse; as, contrary winds.
And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me.
We have lost our labor; they are gone a contrary way.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Opposed; contradictory; repugnant; inconsistent.
Fame, if not double-faced, is double mouthed,And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds.
The doctrine of the earth's motion appeared to be contrary to the sacred Scripture.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Given to opposition; perverse; forward; wayward; as, a contrary disposition; a contrary child.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Affirming the opposite; so opposed as to destroy each other; as, contrary propositions.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

A thing that is of contrary or opposite qualities.
No contraries hold more antipathyThan I and such a knave.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

An opponent; an enemy.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

See Contraries.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

To contradict or oppose; to thwart.
I was advised not to contrary the king.
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

A relation of direct opposition;
We thought Sue was older than Bill but just the reverse was true
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Exact opposition;
Public opinion to the contrary he is not guilty
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Two propositions are contraries if both cannot be true but both can be false
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Contrary

Very opposed in nature or character or purpose;
Acts contrary to our code of ethics
The facts point to a contrary conclusion
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Of words or propositions so related that both cannot be true but both may be false;
`hot' and `cold' are contrary terms
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

Resistant to guidance or discipline;
Mary Mary quite contrary
An obstinate child with a violent temper
A perverse mood
Wayward behavior
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

In an opposing direction;
Adverse currents
A contrary wind
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Oct 12, 2023

Contrary

In opposition to what is expected.
Contrary to expectations, the event was a success.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

Being so different as to be at odds.
The contrary opinion was not well received.
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Oct 13, 2023

Contrary

A fact or condition incompatible with another.
Ice cream and hot sauce are often seen as contraries.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 13, 2023

Common Curiosities

Can "Contrary" be used as an adjective?

Yes, "Contrary" can describe something as being opposite or different.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Is "Downside" only about disadvantages?

Primarily, yes. It focuses on the less favorable aspects or consequences.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

How is "Downside" typically used?

"Downside" refers to the negative aspect or disadvantage of something.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Are there upsides to a downside?

Figuratively, yes. Recognizing a downside can lead to better decision-making.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Do "Contrary" and "Downside" have the same roots?

No. "Contrary" derives from Latin "contrarius," while "Downside" is an English compound word.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

How might one use "Contrary" in a sentence?

For example: "Contrary to initial reports, the event was a massive success."
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Nov 23, 2023

Is "Contrary" always negative?

No, it denotes opposition, which can be either positive or negative based on context.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What does "Contrary" mean?

"Contrary" means opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Is "Downside" always a noun?

Typically, yes. It refers to the negative aspect of something.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can "Contrary" and "Downside" be used interchangeably?

No, they serve different purposes and contexts.
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Nov 23, 2023

How can "Downside" be used in context?

For instance: "The downside of this technology is its high energy consumption."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Can "Downside" refer to risks?

Yes, risks can be considered as potential downsides or negative outcomes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

How does "Contrary" relate to contradictions?

"Contrary" can highlight or emphasize contradictions in beliefs, actions, or situations.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

What's the opposite of "Downside"?

The opposite would be "Upside," referring to the positive aspect.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

Is "Contrary" only used in negative contexts?

No, it denotes opposition or difference, which can be neutral or even positive based on the context.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 23, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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