contradiction

noun
con·​tra·​dic·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-shən \

Definition of contradiction

1 : act or an instance of contradicting the defendant's contradiction of the plaintiff's accusations
2a : 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
3a : logical incongruity
b : a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another

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Synonyms for contradiction

Synonyms

dichotomy, incongruity, paradox

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On a tour of the software company’s training facility, Mr. Woodfin saw these contradictions up close. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "Looking for an Alternative to College? U.S. Studies German Apprenticeships," 29 Dec. 2018 But the rise of the Trumpist right has heightened such contradictions. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Natalie Portman and the Crisis of Liberal Zionism," 26 Apr. 2018 Reconciling irreconcilable contradictions has been Ms. Merkel’s unofficial job description for years. New York Times, "Germany’s Europe-Shaking Political Crisis Over Migrants, Explained," 3 July 2018 Yet Mr Duterte remains popular—in a presidency defined by contradictions. The Economist, "A new book explores the myths and reality of Rodrigo Duterte’s life," 21 June 2018 Foremost among those contradictions may be Jody’s attitude to it all. Andy Meek, Billboard, "Big Star Drummer Jody Stephens Keeps the Beat Alive at the Band's Old Studio," 17 May 2018 In those years, when travel from impoverished, authoritarian Turkey to the West was less common, these contradictions might have weighed heavily on the few Robert College students who did get to go to the United States for college. Suzy Hansen, The New Republic, "“What Difference Is Trump for Us?”," 24 Apr. 2018 Those who bemoan segregation and gentrification simultaneously risk contradiction. The Economist, "In praise of gentrification," 21 June 2018 And in a society that pressures the young—young women in particular—to curate an image and offer it up for public consumption, Kerstens’s work is a clever contradiction. Gabriella Fuller, ELLE Decor, "Photographer Hendrik Kerstens Is a Modern Day Dutch Master," 16 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of contradiction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contradiction

see contradict

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for contradiction

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

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More Definitions for contradiction

contradiction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contradiction

: the act of saying something that is opposite or very different in meaning to something else

: a difference or disagreement between two things which means that both cannot be true

contradiction

noun
con·​tra·​dic·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-shən \

Kids Definition of contradiction

: something (as a statement) that is the opposite of or is much different from something else There were many contradictions in her story.

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