par·​a·​dox·​i·​cal ˌper-ə-ˈdäk-si-kəl How to pronounce paradoxical (audio)
: of the nature of a paradox
the paradoxical theory that global warming will lead to the next Ice Age
: inclined to paradoxes
: not being the normal or usual kind
a paradoxical pulse
paradoxical drug reactions
paradoxicality noun
paradoxically adverb
paradoxicalness noun

Examples of paradoxical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Marlon was paradoxical himself, so why should his vision not be practicable and paradoxical, as well? Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 After sentencing Nelson, Howard mentioned the photos of the guns in a seemingly paradoxical statement. Silas Morgan, Sun Sentinel, 17 Jan. 2024 This was also a paradoxical time for EA’s leadership. Leif Wenar, WIRED, 27 Mar. 2024 Practice paradoxical intention Becoming preoccupied with not getting back to sleep can be hugely stressful in the middle of the night. Georgia Day, Vogue, 25 Mar. 2024 There’s a paradoxical mellow and electric vibe there. Kim Westerman, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Despite having to race against molten rock, which frequently surrounded them, the sight of the conflagration engendered a paradoxical sense of calm. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 13 Feb. 2024 On their paradoxical mission to help the Nigerian state by proving how corrupt its bureaucrats really were, the agents were accused of coloring outside the lines of the law. Jesse Barron, New York Times, 9 Feb. 2024 But unlike the paradoxical reality of beachy waves, which actually require a laundry list of products and hot styling tools (and no beaches in sight), messy buns don't have to be a 12-step process. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 2 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paradoxical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of paradoxical was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near paradoxical

Cite this Entry

“Paradoxical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


par·​a·​dox·​i·​cal ˌpar-ə-ˈdäk-si-kəl How to pronounce paradoxical (audio)
variants also paradoxic
: not being the normal or usual kind
a paradoxical embolism

More from Merriam-Webster on paradoxical

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