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

Ramona is warm, vain, ruthless and unpredictable, and Lopez gathers her contradictions into an incandescent one-woman spectacle. New York Times, "‘Hustlers’ Review: Ripping Off the Suits," 11 Sep. 2019 Their distinctiveness is a product of their contradictions, their layers. Michele Moses, The New Yorker, "A Bot That Captures the Ambivalence of Human Emotion," 4 Sep. 2019 But his open contradiction of government negotiators suggests the complexities of striking a deal. Washington Post, "During secret Venezuela talks, Maduro offered new elections. Is it a real breakthrough or a stall?," 18 Aug. 2019 The information that emerges is the product of buying and selling by people, with all their contradictions. The Economist, "Markets are braced for a global downturn," 17 Aug. 2019 And the body, in all its fleshy contradictions — inside and out, life and death — was Bloom’s domain. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "This Boston artist shunned the limelight. He deserves to be famous.," 1 Aug. 2019 Her 22 weeks of contradictory statements, and her Trumpian meretriciousness about her contradictions, reveal a frivolity about upending health care’s complex 18 percent of America’s economy. George Will, National Review, "How Can Presidential Candidates Be So Silly?," 7 July 2019 Her 22 weeks of contradictory statements, and her Trumpian meretriciousness about her contradictions, reveal a frivolity about upending health care’s complex 18% of America’s economy. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: How can presidential candidates be so silly?," 7 July 2019 Eisenman creates procession of human life with all its contradictions, marked by moments of both suffering and whimsy. Lillian Dondero, ELLE Decor, "What to Expect at This Year's Politically-Charged Whitney Biennial," 14 June 2019

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

19 Sep 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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