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

Other Words from contradictory


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for contradictory

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Adjective contradictory predictions regarding stock prices that were of no help to investors at all
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Dinis-Oliveira then reviewed the contradictory toxicological evidence in a third paper published in May 2021 in Forensic Sciences Research, defending the professional reputations of his 19th-century compatriots. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Jan. 2022 But neither, Steele points out, has there been much concrete contradictory evidence either. Matthew Mosk, ABC News, 18 Oct. 2021 But when the group voted that the contradictory evidence from Biogen's trials didn't support approval, the FDA found a new way forward. Max Nisen, Star Tribune, 27 June 2021 Now, however, the show only serves as a jarring reminder of how much engineering went into the overhaul of Bill’s persona, especially as contradictory evidence—such as his apparent habit of being dismissive of his wife in meetings—comes to light. Austin Carr,, 21 May 2021 Some platforms instruct moderators to ban a user after one accusation, barring contradictory evidence. Brian Edwards, ProPublica, 17 May 2021 China has denied that the camps are abusive, describing them instead as job training centers aimed at countering religious extremism and terrorism, despite a preponderance of contradictory evidence. New York Times, 15 Dec. 2020 There hasn’t been enough research into the long-term health outcomes of hormone replacement therapy on trans men, and the studies that do exist have often been contradictory. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Legal issues surrounding employer meetings are contradictory. Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For six months, experts have given the American public contradictory and weaponized election-year directives on masks, social distancing, lockdowns, school closures, and workplace policies. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 24 Sep. 2020 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, 3 May 2017 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for contradictory

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

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Dictionary Entries Near contradictory

contradict oneself



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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contradictory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for contradictory


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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