Definition of contradiction in English:


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  • 1A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

    ‘the proposed new system suffers from a set of internal contradictions’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But there is a great contradiction between these chauvinistic ideas and what is happening in the village.’
    • ‘Because even the idea of a contradiction between science and faith was predicated on a concept of faith as a kind of profane knowledge.’
    • ‘Prosecutors said, however, they found some contradictions in their statements.’
    • ‘As you can see there is a clear contradiction in these two statements.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these internal contradictions never came to surface until 1989.’
    • ‘Political competition within the nobility interacted with the social and economic contradictions to produce violent internal conflict.’
    • ‘And the basic contradiction is the contradiction between the doing and the denial of doing, life and death.’
    • ‘Such a coalition will melt down because of its own internal contradictions.’
    • ‘Paradoxically, the exhibition as a whole is enriched by its internal contradictions.’
    • ‘Such were the tensions and internal contradictions of his rather unhappy life that you feel relief for the man when he finally dies.’
    • ‘It is possible that this movement's internal contradictions will cause an early collapse.’
    • ‘The Hegelian dialectic attempts to grasp the totality of the system and argues that change occurs as a result of contradictions internal to that system.’
    • ‘It is beset by contradictions in the statements of Ministers.’
    • ‘It was full of misleading statements and contradictions.’
    • ‘If its existence is rejected, we reject the thing itself with all its predicates; and no question of contradiction can then arise.’
    • ‘Most likely, he saw and probably still sees no contradiction between the two objectives.’
    • ‘Actually, there is no contradiction between those positions.’
    1. 1.1A person, thing, or situation in which inconsistent elements are present.
      ‘the paradox of using force to overcome force is a real contradiction’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The current situation reveals a fundamental contradiction in Orthodox-Catholic politics.’
      • ‘Of course, it may be foolish to assume that the two references to peace present an irreconcilable contradiction.’
      • ‘How can one account for such a marked contradiction between the story presented by the newspaper and the version written by Miller?’
      • ‘If we fail, they will say that there is a real contradiction between the western world and the Islamic world.’
      • ‘This ‘state of necessity’ emerges from a contradiction, a moral dilemma.’
      • ‘At the heart of the present political conflict is an intractable contradiction.’
      • ‘For the advancement of human freedom, this contradiction presents both an opportunity and a threat.’
      • ‘In its broadest context, the primary contradiction in this new century is the dilemma between globalization and state sovereignty.’
      • ‘If this idea seems like a contradiction then it serves only to highlight our difficulty; it does not make the dilemma any less relevant.’
      • ‘There is a contradiction here, both within his statements and with the biblical text.’
      • ‘Apart from being a contradiction, it is an idea for which there is no convincing evidence.’
      • ‘There is no contradiction here; positions and choices are not the same thing.’
      • ‘So there is absolutely no contradiction in the position I have adopted in this Chamber, whatsoever.’
      • ‘If anyone had any doubts about the degree of contradiction on the Opposition's side of the House, let me read these remarks.’
      • ‘And there does seem to be a pretty flat contradiction between those two points.’
      • ‘He actively engages with the Anglican theological position on the sacraments in order to resolve this contradiction.’
      • ‘The conspiracy theorists' response to that apparent contradiction is that it's all a part of the conspiracy.’
    2. 1.2The statement of a position opposite to one already made.
      ‘the second sentence appears to be in flat contradiction of the first’
      • ‘the experiment provides a contradiction of the hypothesis’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The result was in direct contradiction of the editing process ordered by the trial judge.’
      • ‘Well, that is in direct contradiction to the aims and objectives of this bill.’
      • ‘This was in direct contradiction with the established religion.’
      • ‘This of course is in direct contradiction of the US Constitution.’
      • ‘All this was in direct contradiction of the intelligence reports he had received, but also - remember - in good faith.’
      • ‘Having been personally responsible for the delivery of many of these I can make this statement without fear of contradiction.’
      • ‘Thus, jealousy is in direct contradiction with God's will.’
      • ‘The following scientists dispute the first claim and stand as living testimony in contradiction to the second.’
      • ‘At first sight, the emergence of the EU as a regional grouping seems to be in contradiction with the direction and thrust of globalization.’
      • ‘For one state to push its own foreign policy in contradiction, and even defiance, of the federal government is a new phenomenon.’
      • ‘In practice, preserving the natural world is in contradiction to what is understood as progress.’
      • ‘The problem with endeavor is that it appears to be in contradiction with the statement of God.’
      • ‘A concept must be framed in such a way that it can be subjected to criticism and possible contradiction.’
      • ‘At the time, I did not question him on his contradiction of his earlier pronouncement.’
      • ‘That statement is a direct contradiction of the two most important conclusions of the report, which the Minister says he accepts.’
      • ‘It's kind of sacrilegious, a contradiction of a contract with your audience.’
      • ‘In fact, the contradiction with the present study is only in terms of conclusions and not in terms of results.’
      denial, refutation, rebuttal, countering, counterstatement, opposite
      View synonyms



/ˌkäntrəˈdikSH(ə)n/ /ˌkɑntrəˈdɪkʃ(ə)n/


    contradiction in terms
    • A statement or group of words associating objects or ideas that are incompatible.

      ‘“true fiction” is a contradiction in terms’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The very idea of empowerment through cultural heritage is a contradiction in terms.’
      • ‘In fact, a statement of their dimensions is an apparent contradiction in terms.’
      • ‘Indeed, many people regard the very idea of group-differentiated citizenship as a contradiction in terms.’
      • ‘Am I the only one who sees the contradiction in terms here?’
      • ‘Having a progressive movement without young people is practically a contradiction in terms - and is doomed to failure.’
      • ‘To others, it can only be a contradiction in terms.’
      • ‘I have never witnessed such a contradiction in terms.’


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