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Borrowed from Late Latin contradictorius, from Latin contradico.



contradictory (comparative more contradictory, superlative most contradictory)

  1. That contradicts something, such as an argument.
  2. That is itself a contradiction.
    • 1983, Richard Ellis, The Book of Sharks, Knopf, →ISBN, page 149:
      Our attitudes toward sharks are contradictory. We fear them and yet we seek them out.
  3. That is diametrically opposed to something.
    • 1715 January 24 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, “The Free-holder: No. 7. Thursday, January 13. [1715.]”, in The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; [], volume IV, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], published 1721, →OCLC:
      Schemes [] contradictory to common sense.
  4. Mutually exclusive.
  5. Tending to contradict or oppose, contrarious.


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contradictory (plural contradictories)

  1. (logic) Either of a pair of propositions, that cannot both be true or both be false.
    • 2001, Mark Sainsbury, chapter 1, in Logical Forms — An Introduction to Philosophical Logic, 2nd edition, Blackwell Publishing, →ISBN, §4, page 20:
      If one proposition is the negation of another, it follows trivially from the definition that the two propositions are contradictories. The converse does not hold. Two propositions can be contradictories without either being the negation of the other. For example:
         3) John is more than six feet tall
         4) John is either exactly six feet tall or else less than six feet tall
      are contradictories, but neither is the negation of the other. Negation is one way, but not the only way, of forming a contradictory.



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