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

In the past two-plus months since the cheating reports emerged (and Khloé birthed their baby girl), the earlier rumors about Khloé’s well-being were contradictory, but more recent reports suggest that the couple is happy — or at least working on it. Amanda Arnold, The Cut, "Khloé Kardashian Is Proud Of How She Handled Tristan Thompson’s Cheating Scandal," 25 June 2018 McCain’s record is certainly contradictory, as the Republic’s comprehensive review of his legacy documents. Graham Vyse, The New Republic, "How the Washington Press Fell in Love With John McCain," 25 May 2018 Asked if McCain was sending a contradictory message by preaching compromise but blocking the sitting President from eulogizing him, Hatch steered clear. Ted Barrett, CNN, "Hatch says it's 'ridiculous' for McCain to block Trump from funeral," 7 May 2018 White House officials offered seemingly contradictory messages on changes. Philip Elliott, Time, "'It's Now Season Two.' How President Trump Turned White House Staffing Into a Cliffhanger," 16 Mar. 2018 Still, studies conducted to assess their safety in consumer products have yielded contradictory findings. Elizabeth Inglese, Vogue, "Why Johnson & Johnson’s $4.7 Billion Baby Powder Lawsuit Is Important for Women Everywhere," 13 July 2018 Trump’s pattern of incendiary and self-contradictory statements makes Putin look polished by comparison. Anna Arutunyan, Time, "No Matter What Happens in Helsinki, Putin Has Already Won," 10 July 2018 At the same time, Queen describes her contradictory desire for attention, especially from men who are considered important. Alice Bolin, Los Angeles Magazine, "What People Should Read About L.A. Before They Move to L.A.," 26 June 2018 Even the Reagan biographer Edmund Morris (Thomas J. Cox) has been inserted into the play, much as Morris later would insert himself as a character in the history of one of the more self-contradictory presidents in United States history. Chris Jones,, "'Blind Date' is an intriguing look at the Reagan era with Deanna Dunagan as a perfect Nancy," 30 Jan. 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

22 Sep 2018

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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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