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A word that exists purely to make its utterer sound clever. Defined as “a distinction made by contrasting the different qualities of two things,” it means “difference”.

“The questionable legal credence of pre-nuptial agreements in the UK — in sharp contradistinction to our American neighbours....”

Or, “we’re not sure whether pre-nuptial agreements work in the UK. It is different in America.”

The JC finds to his horror that he has used this word on this very site. It has been expurgated, or at least restricted to use in a purely ironic sense.