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

Despite my hoping, and in direct contradiction to the little girl softness that still hung around her cheekbones, my daughter had officially entered adolescence. Kelly Fig Smith, Washington Post, "Why I threw my 11-year-old daughter a period party," 24 June 2019 Grossman could embrace any number of contradictions: loyal Soviet citizen and dissident, kulak and commissar, Stalin worshipper and Stalin hater, in-group and out. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 Japan is not alone in its effort to contend with the contradictions of student smartphone use. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Earthquakes are making Japan think twice about banning smartphones in schools," 23 June 2019 He was sometimes asked if there was a contradiction between his Christian faith and running a company that made missiles. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Raytheon’s Thomas Phillips: The CEO Who Refused to Tell His Own Story," 18 Jan. 2019 This concept, called complementarity, simply holds that there is no direct contradiction because no single observer can ever be both inside and outside the event horizon. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire," 21 Dec. 2012 At the same time — and in somewhat of a contradiction — by 76% to 22%, voters said that being younger than 50 would be an advantage. David Lauter, latimes.com, "California Democratic 2020 presidential primary is a wide-open race, poll finds," 13 June 2019 English national identity is not a choice between global metropolitanism and imperial voyeurism — the very contrast of global and imperial is a contradiction in terms. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019 Yet many Republican voters appear blissfully unaware of this contradiction. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why so many people who need the government hate it," 17 Aug. 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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Statistics for contradiction

Last Updated

11 Jul 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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Comments on contradiction

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