contradict

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin contradict-, the participle stem of contrādīcō (I speak against) (originally two words).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /kɒntɹəˈdɪkt/
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

contradict (third-person singular simple present contradicts, present participle contradicting, simple past and past participle contradicted)

  1. To deny the truth or validity of (a statement or statements).
    His testimony contradicts hers.
    • 1651, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, London: Andrew Crooke, Chapter 42 “Of Power Ecclesiasticall,” p. 270,[1]
      [] the Ministers of Christ in this world, have no Power by that title, to Punish any man for not Beleeving, or for Contradicting what they say;
    • 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter 23, in Pride and Prejudice, volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton [], OCLC 38659585:
      Day after day passed away without bringing any other tidings of him than the report which shortly prevailed in Meryton of his coming no more to Netherfield the whole winter; a report which highly incensed Mrs. Bennet, and which she never failed to contradict as a most scandalous falsehood.
    • 1959, Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers, New York: Ace Books, 2006, Chapter , p. 97,[2]
      I spent the whole long hike back to camp thinking about that amazing letter. It didn’t sound in the least like anything he had ever said in class. Oh, I don’t mean it contradicted anything he had told us in class; it was just entirely different in tone.
  2. To oppose (a person) by denying the truth or pertinence of a given statement.
    Everything he says contradicts me.
  3. To be contrary to (something).
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, J[ohn] S[penser], editor, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, [], 3rd edition, London: [] Will[iam] Stansby [for Matthew Lownes], published 1611, OCLC 931154958, book III, page 118:
      Now no truth can contradict any truth; desirous therefore they were to be taught, how bothe might stand together, that which they knew could not be false, because Christ spake it; and this which to them did seeme true, onely because the Scribes had said it.
    • 1760, Laurence Sterne, The Sermons of Mr. Yorick, London: R. & J. Dodsley, Volume 1, Sermon 2, p. 32,[5]
      [] as he is going to a house dedicated to joy and mirth, it was fit he should divest himself of whatever was likely to contradict that intention, or be inconsistent with it.
    • c. 1806–1809 (date written), William Wordsworth, “Book the Fifth. The Pastor.”, in The Excursion, being a Portion of The Recluse, a Poem, London: [] Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, [], published 1814, OCLC 1108654590, page 231:
      [] True indeed it is
      That They whom Death has hidden from our sight
      Are worthiest of the Mind’s regard; with these
      The future cannot contradict the past:
    • 1980, Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers, Penguin, 1981, Chapter 60, p. 486,
      My persona was mildly liked by television audiences. Its features were recognizable and caricaturable—the cigarette in its Dunhill holder wielded as gracefully as a Queen Anne fan, the Savile Row suitings whose conservative elegance was contradicted by opennecked silk shirts from Kuala Lumpur or by cream polo sweaters []
  4. (obsolete) To give an order contrary to (another order or wish), oppose (something).
  5. (obsolete) To give an order contrary to one given by (another person), oppose or resist (someone).
  6. (obsolete) To speak against; to forbid.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970:
      , New York 2001, p. 203:
      [] magic hath been publicly professed in former times, in Salamanca, Cracovia, and other places, though after censured by several universities, and now generally contradicted, though practised by some still […].

Synonyms[edit]

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