Definition of contradiction in English:


Line breaks: contra|dic¦tion
Pronunciation: /kɒntrəˈdɪkʃ(ə)n


1A combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another: the proposed new system suffers from a set of internal contradictions
More example sentences
  • And the judge very obviously was struggling with the clear contradiction between those two ideas today.
  • Neither side has a monopoly on either good ideas or glaring contradictions.
  • The mass of contradictions in statements means someone is lying, he said.
1.1A situation in which inconsistent elements are present: the paradox of using force to overcome force is a real contradiction
More example sentences
  • His complex character is presented as a contradiction, as he despises cheats but finds many ways throughout the film to prove that he is one.
  • In the case of Henry Moore, this presents an immediate contradiction.
  • The new antithesis forms out of elements of the original contradiction that didn't make it into the synthesis.
1.2 [mass noun] The statement of a position opposite to one already made: the second sentence appears to be in flat contradiction of the first [count noun]: the experiment provides a contradiction of the hypothesis
More example sentences
  • We'll arrive at the rather obvious contradiction in this position in one moment.
  • As an observer, I can testify that the comments made by these powerful and successful people were in flat contradiction to the caricature.
  • They've already argued that these two statements are in bold contradiction.


late Middle English: via Old French from Latin contradictio(n-), from the verb contradicere (see contradict).


contradiction in terms

A statement or group of words associating incompatible objects or ideas: she has demonstrated that the term ‘student-athlete’ isn’t always a contradiction in terms
More example sentences
  • Since we do not know how to stand outside the universe - the very idea is almost a contradiction in terms - the only evidence we can use comes from within it.
  • Some people might think of judgment and forgiveness as incompatible, or as a contradiction in terms.
  • The idea of a real Englishman is almost a contradiction in terms, like talking about a real theme park or a real golf club.
conflict, clash, disagreement, opposition, inconsistency, lack of congruence, incongruity, incongruousness, mismatch, variance;

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