contradiction

play
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
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

  1. No one was surprised by the defendant's contradiction of the plaintiff's accusations.

  2. Her rebuttal contained many contradictions to my arguments.

  3. There have been some contradictions in his statements.

  4. There is a contradiction between what he said yesterday and what he said today.

  5. Her statements are mired in contradiction.

  6. What he said yesterday is in direct contradiction to what he said today.

Recent Examples of contradiction from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of contradiction



CONTRADICTION Defined for English Language Learners

contradiction

play
noun

Definition of contradiction for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

contradiction

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

Definition of contradiction for Students

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

all at once

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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