For example, when you want to emphasize the contrast of a laid-back person living in a hectic city. I figure we can say something like "His laid-back personality is a [word] against/to the bustle of the city." but I have yet to find the right word for it

I also want the word to have a positive meaning, so it doesn't simply contrast with the rest but does so favorably.

Update: I thought of a word that is very close to this: A breath of fresh air. So it would help if the words you suggest also have a similar connotation.


You can say his laid back personality is in stark contrast/at odds with the bustle of the city..


You may use clash: (from TFD)

  • To create a contrasting visual impression when placed together: colors that clash.
  • His laid-back personality clashes with the the bustle of he city.

You can go with antithetic. "His laid-back personality is antithetic to the bustle of the city."

antithetic: (adj) directly opposed or contrasted; opposite.


You could use the word dissonance or dissonate

dissonance: a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements

For example:

His laid-back personality dissonates with the bustle of the city.


If you use "incongruous", you don't need "a" or "against". According to some of the less traditional dictionaries, in spoken AmE, incongruous has evolved into a more neutral (than negative) description.



"His laid-back personality is at odds with the bustle of the city."

at odds

1 In conflict or at variance:


His behavior is at odds with the interests of the company

But conflict resolution in recent decades is at odds with the principled approach.

She had felt different and increasingly at odds with her family, in particular her mother Fanny.

That guidance is clearly different from and at odds with the 1972 decision letter.

(Definition and examples from Oxforddictionaries.com)

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