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[kon-truh-dik-tuh-ree] /ˌkɒn trəˈdɪk tə ri/
asserting the contrary or opposite; contradicting; inconsistent; logically opposite:
contradictory statements.
tending or inclined to contradict.
noun, plural contradictories.
Logic. a proposition so related to a second that it is impossible for both to be true or both to be false.
Origin of contradictory
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin contrādictōrius, equivalent to contrādic(ere) (see contradict) + -tōrius -tory1
Related forms
contradictorily, adverb
contradictoriness, noun
intercontradictory, adjective
noncontradictory, adjective, noun, plural noncontradictories.
uncontradictory, adjective
1. irreconcilable, paradoxical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contradictory
  • Malaria is a confounding disease-often, it seems, contradictory to logic.
  • Genius is the ability to hold two contradictory truths in the mind at the same time without going crazy.
  • It was because of the peculiarly contradictory way in which the capitalist system generated its fabulous wealth.
  • They present almost comically contradictory portraits.
  • Both organizations have historically stated that they consider their work complementary, not contradictory.
  • What may seem to us contradictory in their ways is natural to them.
  • Imagine straight-out descriptions instead of mythic narratives, parts diagrams rather than contradictory explanations.
  • Some might call this combination paradoxical, even contradictory.
  • They don't make much sense because they are contradictory.
  • For one thing, the whole idea is self-contradictory.
British Dictionary definitions for contradictory


inconsistent; incompatible
given to argument and contention: a contradictory person
(logic) (of a pair of statements) unable both to be true or both to be false under the same circumstances Compare contrary (sense 5), subcontrary (sense 1)
noun (pl) -ries
(logic) a statement that cannot be true when a given statement is true or false when it is false
Derived Forms
contradictorily, adverb
contradictoriness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contradictory

1530s, "mutually opposed, at variance," from Late Latin contradictorius "containing a contradiction or objection," from contradictus, past participle of contradicere (see contradiction). Meaning "fond of contradicting" is from 1891. Used earlier as a noun (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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