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Contrary vs. Downside: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 1, 2024
Contrary refers to something opposite in nature or direction, while downside is a disadvantage or negative aspect of a situation.

Key Differences

Contrary denotes opposition or a direct contrast to something else. It often refers to ideas, opinions, or directions that are diametrically opposed. Downside, however, specifically pertains to the negative aspects or disadvantages of a situation, plan, or decision.
The concept of contrary is rooted in contradiction and antithesis, where two elements are in stark contrast or conflict with each other. The downside does not imply opposition but rather focuses on the potential negative outcomes or risks associated with a particular choice or situation.
When something is described as being on the contrary, it suggests a rebuttal or contradiction to a previous statement or belief. In contrast, pointing out a downside is highlighting a possible negative consequence or drawback that should be considered.
Contrary can be used in the context of debate or argument to present an opposing viewpoint or perspective. Downside is more commonly used in decision-making processes, where weighing pros and cons is essential.
The use of contrary often implies a binary, where two opposing sides are clear. The downside, on the other hand, exists within a spectrum of possibilities, where various negative outcomes or aspects can be identified and assessed.

Comparison Chart


Refers to something opposite in nature or direction.
A disadvantage or negative aspect of a situation.


Used in arguments, debates, and contrasting situations.
Used when discussing the negative aspects of a decision.


Suggests a direct opposition or contradiction.
Highlights a risk or negative consequence.

Usage in Decision Making

Less about decisions, more about opposing views.
Directly related to evaluating choices and their impacts.


Conceptual, often abstract or ideological.
Practical, relating to real-world implications and outcomes.

Contrary and Downside Definitions


In opposition to something else.
Her views are contrary to the company's ethics.


The negative outcome of a decision or action.
The downside of not studying is failing the exam.


Diametrically different or contrary in attitude or nature.
He took a contrary position in the debate.


The least beneficial aspect of a circumstance.
The downside of living in the city is the noise.


Contradicting a proposition or statement.
On the contrary, the data supports the theory.


A disadvantage or negative aspect of something.
The downside of the new policy is its cost.


Opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.
The findings were contrary to our initial hypothesis.


A potential risk or drawback.
One downside of investing in stocks is market volatility.


Inclined to oppose and contradict.
She has a contrary personality, often disagreeing with others.


The less favorable part of a situation.
The downside of fame is often a lack of privacy.


Opposed, as in character or purpose
Contrary opinions.
Acts that are contrary to our code of ethics.


The lower side or portion.


Opposite in direction or position
Our boat took a course contrary to theirs.


A disadvantageous aspect
An option with a downside as well as benefits.


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


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


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


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


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


Can downside be positive?

No, downside specifically refers to negative aspects.

What does downside mean?

Downside refers to the negative aspects or disadvantages of something.

What is the meaning of contrary?

Contrary means opposite in nature or direction.

Does downside imply failure?

Not necessarily, it refers to potential negative outcomes.

Is contrary always negative?

Contrary isn't inherently negative; it denotes opposition.

Can contrary be used to describe personality?

Yes, a contrary personality often means inclined to disagree.

Is contrary a matter of perspective?

Yes, what is contrary can depend on one's perspective.

Is identifying downsides pessimistic?

Not necessarily; it's often a realistic assessment.

Does contrary mean the exact opposite?

Generally, yes, it means a direct opposite.

Are downsides always obvious?

Not always; some downsides are identified through analysis.

How is contrary used in arguments?

Contrary is used to present an opposing viewpoint.

Is downside a consideration in decision-making?

Yes, considering downsides is crucial in decision-making.

Does every choice have a downside?

Most choices have downsides, which vary in significance.

Can contrary imply contradiction?

Yes, contrary often involves contradiction.

How important is understanding downsides?

Very important, especially in risk assessment and planning.

Is contrary used in legal contexts?

Yes, it's often used to present opposing arguments.

Can contrary views coexist?

Yes, contrary views can coexist in discussions or debates.

Do downsides always deter decisions?

Not always; sometimes the benefits outweigh the downsides.

Can two contrary things be true?

In some contexts, yes, depending on perspective.

Can contrary be constructive?

Yes, contrary viewpoints can lead to constructive debates.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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