an·​tin·​o·​my | \ an-ˈti-nə-mē How to pronounce antinomy (audio) \
plural antinomies

Definition of antinomy

1 : a contradiction between two apparently equally valid principles or between inferences correctly drawn from such principles
2 : a fundamental and apparently unresolvable conflict or contradiction antinomies of beauty and evil, freedom and slavery— Stephen Holden

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from antinomy

antinomic \ ˌan-​ti-​ˈnä-​mik How to pronounce antinomy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of antinomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This demanded the forging of a new consciousness, one that would overcome the antinomies of subjective and objective, body and spirit, family and party. Marci Shore, New York Times, "The Russian Revolution Recast as an Epic Family Tragedy," 18 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antinomy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of antinomy

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antinomy

German Antinomie, from Latin antinomia conflict of laws, from Greek, from anti- + nomos law — more at nimble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about antinomy

Time Traveler for antinomy

Time Traveler

The first known use of antinomy was in 1592

See more words from the same year

Statistics for antinomy

Cite this Entry

“Antinomy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on antinomy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antinomy Encyclopedia article about antinomy

Comments on antinomy

What made you want to look up antinomy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!