par·​a·​dox·​i·​cal | \ ˌper-ə-ˈdäk-si-kəl How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) , ˌpa-rə- \

Definition of paradoxical

1a : of the nature of a paradox the paradoxical theory that global warming will lead to the next Ice Age
b : inclined to paradoxes
2 : not being the normal or usual kind a paradoxical pulse paradoxical drug reactions

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Other Words from paradoxical

paradoxicality \ ˌper-​ə-​ˌdäk-​si-​ˈka-​lə-​tē How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ noun
paradoxically \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈdäk-​si-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb
paradoxicalness \ ˌper-​ə-​ˈdäk-​si-​kəl-​nəs How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) , ˌpa-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of paradoxical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Or is such a paradoxical idea destined to collapse under the weight of its own contradictions? Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "The Hokey-Pokey Hegemon," 14 Mar. 2021 But the paradoxical effect was that possibilities for art works were all around her. New York Times, "Barbara Ess, 76, Dies; Artist Blurred Lines Between Life and Art," 9 Mar. 2021 At the heart of SpongeBob’s appeal is the show’s paradoxical ability to be 100 percent earnest and 100 percent ironic at the same time, as if to prove that its gonzo metatextual indulgences are somehow inextricably linked to its sincerity. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Will Make You a Better Person," 5 Mar. 2021 This opens the path to a paradoxical progressive program: radical reassurance. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "To Hell with Unity," 2 Mar. 2021 The concept of infinity remains controversial and paradoxical today, galvanizing international conferences and heated scholarly disputes. Alan Lightman, The Atlantic, "‘It Seems That I Know How the Universe Originated’," 8 Feb. 2021 Banning Trump could have the paradoxical effect of emboldening his supporters even more, or sending them to other platforms, but social media will not need to be totally remade without his image. Jason Parham, Wired, "An Internet Without Trump," 22 Jan. 2021 This paradoxical logic would have winemakers hoping for a poor harvest, though certainly not a catastrophic one like 2020. Washington Post, "Wine sales will keep rising after the pandemic, a new report predicts — but maybe not for long," 15 Jan. 2021 And so they’re caught in a paradoxical moment, cathartic potential capped until the current disaster passes. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Can Disaster Movies Survive a Pandemic?," 25 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paradoxical.' 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 paradoxical

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for paradoxical

Time Traveler

The first known use of paradoxical was in 1598

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Statistics for paradoxical

Last Updated

21 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Paradoxical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for paradoxical


par·​a·​dox·​i·​cal | \ ˌpar-ə-ˈdäk-si-kəl How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) \
variants: also paradoxic \ -​sik How to pronounce paradoxical (audio) \

Medical Definition of paradoxical

: not being the normal or usual kind a paradoxical embolism

More from Merriam-Webster on paradoxical

Nglish: Translation of paradoxical for Spanish Speakers

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