con·​tra·​dic·​to·​ry | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-t(ə-)rē \

Definition of contradictory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving, causing, or constituting a contradiction contradictory statements The witnesses gave contradictory accounts of the accident.


plural contradictories

Definition of contradictory (Entry 2 of 2)

: a proposition (see proposition entry 1 sense 2a) so related to another that if either of the two is true the other is false and if either is false the other must be true

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Other Words from contradictory


contradictorily \ ˌkän-​trə-​ˈdik-​t(ə-​)rə-​lē \ adverb
contradictoriness \ ˌkän-​trə-​ˈdik-​t(ə-​)rē-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for contradictory

Synonyms: Adjective

antipodal, antipodean, antithetical, contrary, diametric (or diametrical), opposite, polar

Antonyms: Adjective


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Choose the Right Synonym for contradictory


opposite, contradictory, contrary, antithetical mean being so far apart as to be or seem irreconcilable. opposite applies to things in sharp contrast or in conflict. opposite views on foreign aid contradictory applies to two things that completely negate each other so that if one is true or valid the other must be untrue or invalid. made contradictory predictions about whether the market would rise or fall contrary implies extreme divergence or diametrical opposition. contrary assessments of the war situation antithetical stresses clear and unequivocal diametrical opposition. a law that is antithetical to the very idea of democracy

Examples of contradictory in a Sentence


contradictory predictions regarding stock prices that were of no help to investors at all

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

However, after Jackée broke the news, Tia tweeted out a contradictory message. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Does This Cute "Sister, Sister" Reunion Mean the Reboot Is Still Happening?!," 13 Sep. 2018 But that answer only spurred more coverage of Facebook’s contradictory policies. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Alex Jones lost his info war," 7 Aug. 2018 If built, this pipeline would create the carbon equivalent of 30 new coal plants, which is contradictory to current climate change global mandates to reduce carbon emissions. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018 This isn't necessarily contradictory, as technology improvements can lower the cost of broadband deployment, and the spending data also includes wireless and cable deployments. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T/Verizon lobby misunderstands arrow of time, makes impossible claim," 6 Dec. 2018 Naturally, this sort of cultural unwillingness seems contradictory to at least one reason voters approved legalization, which was to generate tax revenues from sales. Alyssa Giacobbe,, "Would you smoke a joint in front of your kids?," 18 June 2018 And both use contradictory pronouncements to cover all bases. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Kanye West Writes a Song of Himself on ‘Ye’," 3 June 2018 In the late summer and early fall of 1918, President Woodrow Wilson added some 5,300 American soldiers to that volatile mix, sending them to northern Russia with vague and contradictory orders. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 Despite Pompeo’s announcement on Tuesday, the US response to the Khashoggi developments over the past few weeks has been confused at best, and contradictory at worst. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The US will revoke visas for Saudi suspects in Jamal Khashoggi’s killing," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For a school board that has criticized Foose for a lack of transparency, the secret talks over separation and lining up an interim appear contradictory. Howard County Times, "Renee Foose is out. Now what?," 3 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contradictory.' 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 contradictory


1656, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contradictory


see contradict


see contradict

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

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The first known use of contradictory was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for contradictory



English Language Learners Definition of contradictory

: involving or having information that disagrees with other information : containing a contradiction


con·​tra·​dic·​to·​ry | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈdik-tə-rē \

Kids Definition of contradictory

: involving, causing, or being the opposite of or much different from something else contradictory reports

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Comments on contradictory

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


a complex dispute or argument

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