AskDefine | Define contradict

Dictionary Definition



1 be in contradiction with [syn: belie, negate]
2 deny the truth of [syn: negate, contravene]
3 be resistant to; "The board opposed his motion" [syn: oppose, controvert]
4 prove negative; show to be false [syn: negate] [ant: confirm]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. To deny the truth of (a statement or statements).
    His testimony contradicts hers.
  2. To make a statement denying the truth of the statement(s) made by (a person).
    Everything he says contradicts me.


deny the truth of (a statement or statements)
deny the truth of statements made by (a person)

Extensive Definition

In logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical inversions of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic, Aristotle’s law of noncontradiction states that “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”
By extension, outside of formal logic, one can speak of contradictions between actions when one presumes that their motives contradict each other.

Contradiction in formal logic

In formal logic, particularly in propositional and first-order logic, a proposition \varphi is a contradiction if and only if \varphi\vdash\bot. Since for contradictory \varphi it is true that \vdash\varphi\rightarrow\psi for all \psi (because \varphi\rightarrow\bot\rightarrow\psi), one may prove any proposition from a set of axioms which contains contradictions.

Contradictions and philosophy

Adherents of the epistemological theory of coherentism typically claim that as a necessary condition of the justification of a belief, that belief must form a part of a logically non-contradictory (consistent) system of beliefs. Some dialetheists, including Graham Priest, have argued that coherence may not require consistency.

Pragmatic contradictions

Pragmatic contradictions often occur in philosophy that the very presence of the argument contradicts the claims of the argument. An inconsistency arising because of the normal implications of saying something, rather than because of the content of what is said. For examples, Heraclitus’s proposition that knowledge is impossible; or, arguably, Nietzsche’s statement that one should not obey others, or moore's paradox. These are self-refuting statements and performative contradictions.

Contradiction outside formal logic

Colloquial usage can label actions or statements (or both) as contradicting each other when due (or perceived as due) to presuppositions which are contradictory in the logical sense.
In dialectical materialism, contradiction, as derived by Karl Marx from Hegelianism, usually refers to an opposition of social forces. Most prominently (according to Marx), capitalism entails a social system that has contradictions because the social classes have conflicting collective goals. These contradictions stem from the social structure of society and inherently lead to class conflict, economic crisis, and eventually revolution, the existing order’s overthrow and the formerly oppressed classes’ ascension to political power.
Mao Zedong's philosophical essay furthered Marx and Lenin's thesis and suggested that all existence is the result of contradiction.


External links

contradict in Persian: تناقض
contradict in German: Kontradiktion
contradict in French: Contradiction
contradict in Korean: 모순
contradict in Icelandic: Mótsögn
contradict in Lithuanian: Prieštaravimas
contradict in Macedonian: Контрадикција
contradict in Dutch: Contradictie
contradict in Japanese: 矛盾
contradict in Norwegian: Selvmotsigelse
contradict in Polish: Sprzeczność
contradict in Portuguese: Contradição
contradict in Russian: Противоречие
contradict in Swedish: Motsägelse
contradict in Chinese: 矛盾

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abjure, abrogate, agree to disagree, annul, answer, answer conclusively, antagonize, argue down, assert the contrary, be antipathetic, be at cross-purposes, be contrary to, be inimical, be opposed to, beat against, belie, break, break off, brush aside, call into question, challenge, chuck, chuck out, clash, collide, conflict, conflict with, confound, confute, contemn, contest, contrapose, contrast with, contravene, controvert, counter, counteract, counterattack, counterbalance, countercheck, counterpoise, counterpose, countervail, counterwork, cross, crush, decline, defeat, demolish, deny, despise, differ, disaccord, disaffirm, disagree, disallow, disapprove, disavow, discard, disclaim, discount, disdain, dismiss, disown, dispose of, disprove, dispute, disregard, dissent, except, exclude, falsify, finish, floor, forbid, forswear, gainsay, garble, go against, go counter to, ignore, impugn, interfere with, jangle, jar, join issue upon, jostle, juxtapose in opposition, lock horns, meet head-on, militate against, mismatch, mismate, negate, negative, nonplus, not accept, not admit, nullify, object, offset, oppose, oppugn, overthrow, overturn, overwhelm, parry, pass by, pass up, play at cross-purposes, push aside, put to silence, rebuff, rebut, recant, reduce to silence, refuse, refuse to admit, refuse to consider, refute, reject, renounce, repel, repudiate, repulse, resist, retract, reverse, revoke, run against, run counter to, scout, set off, settle, shove away, shut up, silence, smash all opposition, spurn, squash, squelch, subvert, swim upstream, take back, take issue with, throw away, throw out, traverse, turn away, turn out, undermine, upset, vary, waive, work against
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