paradox was our Word of the Day on 10/13/2007. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of paradox in a Sentence
- For the actors, the goal was a paradox: real emotion, produced on cue. —Claudia Roth Pierpont, New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2008
- Again and again, he returns in his writing to the paradox of a woman who is superior to the men around her by virtue of social class though considered inferior to them on account of her gender. —Terry Eagleton, Harper's, November 2007
- She was certainly far from understanding him completely; his meaning was not at all times obvious. It was hard to see what he meant for instance by speaking of his provincial side—which was exactly the side she would have taken him most to lack. Was it a harmless paradox, intended to puzzle her? or was it the last refinement of high culture? —Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, 1881
- Mr. Guppy propounds for Mr. Smallweed's consideration the paradox that the more you drink the thirstier you are and reclines his head upon the window-sill in a state of hopeless languor. —Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852-53
It is a paradox that computers need maintenance so often, since they are meant to save people time.
As an actor, he's a paradox—he loves being in the public eye but also deeply values and protects his privacy.
a novel full of paradox
Recent Examples of paradox from the Web
Flummoxed by this distressing paradox, my editor turned to me for answers.
The paradox is that Merkel might be Italy’s best hope for achieving a comprehensive agreement on migration.
This paradox is hardly the only psychological quirk for the social network to exploit.
Get our daily newsletter Andy Burnham, who was elected Labour mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017, when the government created six regional mayoralties, spends his life grappling with this paradox.
Today, Soriano is clear about the paradoxes of his belief systems.
There’s a paradox here in signing ex-Patriots, of course.
That’s the paradox that lies at heart of all American history.
One of the paradoxes of Iran in the Middle Eastern context is that most Middle Eastern governments are ruled by secular autocrats who are repressing primarily Islamist opposition.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paradox.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The ancient Greeks were well aware that a paradox can take us outside our usual way of thinking. They combined the prefix para- ("beyond" or "outside of") with the verb dokein ("to think"), forming paradoxos, an adjective meaning "contrary to expectation." Latin speakers picked up the word and used it to create their noun paradoxum, which English speakers borrowed during the 1500s to create paradox.
PARADOX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of paradox for English Language Learners
: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible
: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite
: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true
PARADOX Defined for Kids
Definition of paradox for Students
Learn More about paradox
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up paradox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).