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

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 How to pronounce contradictorily (audio) \ adverb
contradictoriness \ ˌkän-​trə-​ˈdik-​t(ə-​)rē-​nəs How to pronounce contradictoriness (audio) \ 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

In the Senate, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pointed out that much of the agenda seemed contradictory and unpaid for. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Italy’s New Populist Government Articulates Vision, but Few Specifics," 5 June 2018 Militant groups and government officials made contradictory claims about who was responsible. Jawad Sukhanyar And Rod Nordland,, "Militants Kill 15 in Afghan Attacks as Taliban Expands Its Control," 9 May 2018 The most powerful agents and dealmakers in Hollywood should not be allowed to pursue two separate lawsuits at the same time that make contradictory claims. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "AMC Urges Judge to Reopen Briefing in 'Walking Dead' Profits Case," 8 Mar. 2018 Real Madrid will be acquiring the services of young Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga later this month, though manager Zinedine Zidane has made a contradictory claim saying that his side are not in need of a shot-stopper., "Zinedine Zidane Claims Real Madrid Are Not in Desperate Need of a Keeper Despite Imminent Kepa Deal," 7 Jan. 2018 So, why would this new study have such contradictory results? Korin Miller, SELF, "Here's What You Need to Know About the Study That Says Giving Birth Increases Your Breast Cancer Risk," 21 Dec. 2018 Still, the outcomes reported in the studies were generally neutral or positive, including lower overdose rates and fewer emergency calls related to overdoses, though there were some contradictory findings in regards to public disposal of syringes. German Lopez, Vox, "A big, new review of the evidence finds that prescription heroin works," 6 Dec. 2018 The government has given contradictory answers as to whether any lakes can be left around the new airport. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Protesters: New Mexico City airport will hurt environment," 23 Aug. 2018 Since the days of dial-up, contradictory impulses have grown powerful inside pretty much everyone with a phone: There is the desire to check the phone, matched only by the intense desire to throw the phone into the ocean forever. Carrie Battan, Harper's BAZAAR, "Escaping the Seduction of Your Smartphone," 26 July 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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Statistics for contradictory

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for contradictory

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 How to pronounce contradictory (audio) \

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).


an enemy or opponent

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