paradox was our Word of the Day on 10/13/2007. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of paradox in a Sentence
- For the actors, the goal was a paradox: real emotion, produced on cue. —Claudia Roth Pierpont, New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2008
- Again and again, he returns in his writing to the paradox of a woman who is superior to the men around her by virtue of social class though considered inferior to them on account of her gender. —Terry Eagleton, Harper's, November 2007
- She was certainly far from understanding him completely; his meaning was not at all times obvious. It was hard to see what he meant for instance by speaking of his provincial side—which was exactly the side she would have taken him most to lack. Was it a harmless paradox, intended to puzzle her? or was it the last refinement of high culture? —Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, 1881
- Mr. Guppy propounds for Mr. Smallweed's consideration the paradox that the more you drink the thirstier you are and reclines his head upon the window-sill in a state of hopeless languor. —Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1852-53
It is a paradox that computers need maintenance so often, since they are meant to save people time.
As an actor, he's a paradox—he loves being in the public eye but also deeply values and protects his privacy.
a novel full of paradox
Recent Examples of paradox from the Web
This illustrates an Anthropocene paradox: Our technological interventions both endanger us and come to our rescue.
In each case, the same blindsiding realization arrives, bringing the inherent paradox of blockchain into focus.
Bunting believes that the true island mentality is a paradox, comprised of such contradictory impulses.
Here’s the paradox: what makes Luck special is his ability to extend plays.
More studies are also needed to understand the apparent paradox of why black men and women tend to have less cardiovascular fat overall, but still have higher rates of heart disease.
That makes Lake Druid, with water quality that ranks as fourth healthiest of 94 lakes in Orlando, a paradox for the city.
Life on Earth is a paradox—to function, all organisms need energy.
Her solo show is a riveting meditation on evil, recovery, and the myriad paradoxes of the human psyche.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paradox.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The ancient Greeks were well aware that a paradox can take us outside our usual way of thinking. They combined the prefix para- ("beyond" or "outside of") with the verb dokein ("to think"), forming paradoxos, an adjective meaning "contrary to expectation." Latin speakers picked up the word and used it to create their noun paradoxum, which English speakers borrowed during the 1500s to create paradox.
PARADOX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of paradox for English Language Learners
: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible
: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite
: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true
PARADOX Defined for Kids
Definition of paradox for Students
Learn More about paradox
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up paradox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).