Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Contrarian

Quick Summary of Contrarian

A person who opposes or rejects popular opinion, especially in stock exchange dealing.

What is the dictionary definition of Contrarian?

Dictionary Definition

A contrarian is a person who holds a contrary position, especially a position against the majority.

  1. A person who expresses a contradicting viewpoint, especially one who denounces the majority persuasion
  2. A financial investor who tends to have an opinion of market trends at variance with most others

Full Definition of Contrarian

Simply put, a contrarian is an investor who makes investments that are contrary to current market sentiment. For example, if energy stocks are currently all the rage and health care stocks are out of favour, the contrarian will purchase health care issues and avoid energy issues. The contrarian’s thinking is that stocks which are out-of-favour today are underpriced and therefore represent excellent value. When a currently out-of-favour stock swings back into favour in the future and its price rises to reflect its true value, the contrarian will be poised to profit. While taking a contrarian position in the market can be profitable in the long run, many investors find it difficult to ‘buck the trend’ and adopt a contrarian market philosophy. Contrarian investors use fluctuations in market sentiment to create long-term profits.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Contrarian. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 16, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Contrarian. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: July 16, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Contrarian. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Contrarian are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February, 2020 | 1 Views.