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See more synonyms for contradictory on Thesaurus.com
  1. asserting the contrary or opposite; contradicting; inconsistent; logically opposite: contradictory statements.
  2. tending or inclined to contradict.
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noun, plural con·tra·dic·to·ries.
  1. Logic. a proposition so related to a second that it is impossible for both to be true or both to be false.
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Origin of contradictory

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin contrādictōrius, equivalent to contrādic(ere) (see contradict) + -tōrius -tory1
Related formscon·tra·dic·to·ri·ly, adverbcon·tra·dic·to·ri·ness, nounin·ter·con·tra·dic·to·ry, adjectivenon·con·tra·dic·to·ry, adjective, noun, plural non·con·tra·dic·to·ries.un·con·tra·dic·to·ry, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contradictorily

Historical Examples

  • Her clothes conceal and reveal, artfully and contradictorily and endlessly.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

  • But motion at one time, and rest at another time, are not contradictorily opposed to each other.

  • This principle is that, of every two contradictorily opposed predicates, only one can belong to a conception.

  • And deep in her repentant heart she was contradictorily glad that Evelina and the baby were safe together down in the Cove.

    His "Day In Court"

    Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

  • But many of the details are vaguely and contradictorily stated.

British Dictionary definitions for contradictorily


  1. inconsistent; incompatible
  2. given to argument and contentiona contradictory person
  3. logic (of a pair of statements) unable both to be true or both to be false under the same circumstancesCompare contrary (def. 5), subcontrary (def. 1)
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noun plural -ries
  1. logic a statement that cannot be true when a given statement is true or false when it is false
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Derived Formscontradictorily, adverbcontradictoriness, 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

Word Origin and History for contradictorily



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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper