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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for contradictory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The denial of a proposition implies the admission of its contradictory.

  • Therefore also the mores, if they are affected by 611asceticism, are inconsistent and contradictory.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • However, experiments made in connection with this subject are contradictory.

    The Races of Man Joseph Deniker
  • It is simply the opposite or contradictory of the Good, the god of evil.

    The Right Knock Helen Van-Anderson
  • Let us trust, for the honor of God, that the contradictory creeds for which men have died are all true.

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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