contradiction

noun

con·​tra·​dic·​tion ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce contradiction (audio)
1
: act or an instance of contradicting
the defendant's contradiction of the plaintiff's accusations
2
a
: a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something
… both parts of a contradiction cannot possibly be true …Thomas Hobbes
b
: a statement or phrase whose parts contradict each other
a round square is a contradiction in terms
3
a
: logical incongruity
b
: a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another

Examples of contradiction in a Sentence

No one was surprised by the defendant's contradiction of the plaintiff's accusations. Her rebuttal contained many contradictions to my arguments. There have been some contradictions in his statements. There is a contradiction between what he said yesterday and what he said today. Her statements are mired in contradiction. What he said yesterday is in direct contradiction to what he said today.
Recent Examples on the Web The report’s authors said the survey findings of this new generation of parents are challenging conventions and embracing contradictions. Kanika Talwar, WWD, 2 July 2024 Easy Breezy Sheer outerwear and trousers for a healthy dose of contradiction. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 1 July 2024 And with that, the modern era of major college football — with all its cash, chaos and contradictions — was born. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 26 June 2024 If there’s no interaction between the lab and the external world, the whole lab evolves according to the rules of quantum physics, and the experiment presents a contradiction between Wigner’s observations and those of his friend. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for contradiction 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'contradiction.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English contradiccioun "objection, opposition, contradiction in logic" borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French contradiction, borrowed from Latin contrādictiōn-, contrādictiō "act of speaking in opposition, counterargument" (Late Latin also "contradiction in logic," after Greek antíphasis), from contrādic-, variant stem of contrādīcere "to speak against, object to" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at contradict

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of contradiction was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near contradiction

Cite this Entry

“Contradiction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contradiction. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

contradiction

noun
con·​tra·​dic·​tion ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce contradiction (audio)
1
: something (as a statement) that contradicts something else
2
: a condition in which things oppose each other
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