verb con·tra·dict \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdikt \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of contradict

contradicted; contradicting; contradicts
1 : to assert the contrary of : take issue with
  • contradict a rumor
  • She contradicted her brother's account of what happened.
2 : to imply the opposite or a denial of
  • Your actions contradict your words.
  • The evidence contradicts his testimony.


play \ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-tə-bəl\ adjective


play \ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-tər\ noun

Examples of contradict in a Sentence

  1. He contradicted the charges of his critics.

  2. My sister doesn't like being contradicted.

  3. The mayor's actions in office contradicted the promises he made during the campaign.

Recent Examples of contradict from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of contradict

Latin contradictus, past participle of contradicere, from contra- + dicere to say, speak — more at diction

Synonym Discussion of contradict

deny, gainsay, contradict, contravene mean to refuse to accept as true or valid. deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede, or to acknowledge the existence or claims of.
    • denied the charges
gainsay implies disputing the truth of what another has said.
    • no one can gainsay her claims
contradict implies an open or flat denial.
    • her account contradicts his
contravene implies not so much an intentional opposition as some inherent incompatibility.
    • laws that contravene tradition

CONTRADICT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of contradict for English Language Learners

  • : to say the opposite of (something that someone else has said) : to deny the truth of (something)

  • : to deny or disagree with what is being said by (someone)

  • : to not agree with (something) in a way that shows or suggests that it is false, wrong, etc.

CONTRADICT Defined for Kids


verb con·tra·dict \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdikt \

Definition of contradict for Students

contradicted; contradicting
1 : to deny the truth of a statement : say the opposite of what someone else has said
  • “Jack's afraid of something,” Mary said. “Jack's not afraid of anything, ever!” Laura contradicted.
  • —Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
2 : to be opposed to
  • Your actions contradict your words.

Word Root of contradict

The Latin word dicere, meaning “to say” or “to speak,” and its form dictus give us the root dict. Words from the Latin dicere have something to do with saying or speaking. To dictate is to say words that are to be written down by someone else. To contradict is to say the opposite of what someone else has said. To predict is to say what will happen before it does.

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to emit the high shrill tone of bagpipes

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