contradiction

noun
con·​tra·​dic·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-shən How to pronounce contradiction (audio) \

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

Others, like Pompeo, have gamely played on, joining Trump in accusing the media of inventing internal policy contradictions in the face of clear discord or at least confusion. Matthew Lee, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s evolving foreign policy challenges top US diplomat," 15 Jan. 2019 Northern Ireland remains a place of contradictions and challenges, of tentative steps forward and shuffles backward. Amanda Sloat, Time, "Brexit Could Jeopardize Peace in Northern Ireland—and America Is Ignoring It," 29 June 2018 In the great actors, there’s always the concurrent contradictions of shyness and showmanship, and acute sensitivity and internal steel. Brooke Hauser, Marie Claire, "Nicole Kidman Makes Her Mark," 17 Sep. 2018 The excuse is that Islam is in contradiction with American values and the party. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Heart of Texas?," 16 Dec. 2018 The house at the bottom of a valley in the Alpine village of Rossa, Switzerland (population 150), is a whimsical synthesis of contradictions. Shonquis Moreno, Curbed, "‘If you take out the art, the building itself can’t stand’," 6 Aug. 2018 The Big Star story always embodied a series of contradictions, starting with the title of that ironically named commercial flop of a debut. Andy Meek, Billboard, "Big Star Drummer Jody Stephens Keeps the Beat Alive at the Band's Old Studio," 17 May 2018 Getting caught in any contradiction could have real consequences beyond losing his job. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "New Auburn athletics director Allen Greene faces most awkward situation in college sports," 19 Jan. 2018 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

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

7 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce contradiction (audio) \

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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