Latin, "against." A signal indicating that the cited source directly states the opposite of whatever the author just said. In other words, assuming an objective truth, the two claims are mutually exclusive and one must be false.
See Negative signal.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Latin for against or opposite to. This usage is usually found in legal writing in statements like: "The decision in the case of Hammerhead v. Nail is contra to the rule stated in Keeler v. Beach."
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:13 pm