contradiction in terms

noun phrase

: a phrase that contains words which have very different or opposite meanings
I think "working vacation" is a contradiction in terms.

Examples of contradiction in terms in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is, obviously, a contradiction in terms—Nazism was the antithesis of reason. Fintan O’Toole, The New York Review of Books, 20 July 2023 For most of history, that is, universal literacy was a contradiction in terms. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 21 June 2023

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

Dictionary Entries Near contradiction in terms

Cite this Entry

“Contradiction in terms.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contradiction%20in%20terms. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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