Definition of contradictory in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɒntrəˈdɪkt(ə)ri/


1Mutually opposed or inconsistent: the two studies came to contradictory conclusions
More example sentences
  • As a skilled political counsellor More had to display his rhetorical skills in justifying often mutually incompatible or contradictory statements and beliefs in the service of the state.
  • These studies lead to different, and often contradictory, conclusions.
  • Secular culture so often teaches us that religion and science are mutually exclusive, even contradictory, forces.
opposed, in opposition, opposite, antithetical, contrary, contrasting, conflicting, at variance, at odds, opposing, clashing, divergent, discrepant, different;
inconsistent, incompatible, irreconcilable, incongruous;
rare oppugnant, repugnant
1.1Containing elements which are inconsistent: politically he exhibited contradictory behaviour
More example sentences
  • This contradictory behaviour is due to its own economic myths.
  • According to John Stirton, research into the influence of polls on electoral behaviour is contradictory.
  • It would be undesirable if the general law and regulatory law - which in some respects is more lenient - demanded contradictory behaviour of the one bank.
1.2 Logic (Of two propositions) so related that one and only one must be true. Compare with contrary.
Example sentences
  • For any pair of contradictory premises, one must be true and the other false.
  • Propositions are contradictory when the truth of one implies the falsity of the other, and conversely.
  • In each case, the judge must decide which of the possibly contradictory principles is the most important.

noun (plural contradictories)

A contradictory proposition.
Example sentences
  • He entitles this kind of opposition dialectical, and that of contradictories analytical.
  • Self and not-self, subject and object, are not contradictories, but dialectical polarities.
  • God can make either of them true, but he can't make both of them true, since they are contradictories.



Example sentences
  • ‘They are and they aren't,’ he says, contradictorily.
  • They also contend, somewhat contradictorily, that figures showing ever higher awards are based on sketchy and unreliable information.
  • Expertise is needed, yet there is, contradictorily, a straightforwardness to the task of travelling at speed.


Example sentences
  • We can get at some of this contradictoriness through one of his many remarks on sexual attraction.
  • In this article, the author seeks to refute this principle and show its inherent contradictoriness.
  • One aim is to introduce students to genuine historical complexity and the contradictoriness of the woman writer's position then and now.


Late Middle English (as a term in logic): from late Latin contradictorius, from Latin contradict- 'spoken against', from the verb contradicere (see contradict).

Words that rhyme with contradictory

benedictory, maledictory, valedictory, victory

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: contra|dict|ory

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