What Does Contradict Mean?

Definition of Contradict Contradict means to assert or state the opposite of something previously said or believed. It refers to the act of asserting a statement or idea that is opposed to or inconsistent with another. It implies a disagreement or clash of opinions, beliefs, or facts. The term comes from the Latin word “contradictus,” which means “opposed” or “against.”

Contradiction in Communication

Contradiction is a common occurrence in communication, especially in discussions or debates where people have different perspectives, beliefs, or opinions. When two people make contradictory statements, it is difficult to reconcile their differences, as one person’s statement directly negates the other’s. This can lead to confusion and can be frustrating for those involved in the conversation.

For example, if one person says “the sky is blue,” and another says “the sky is not blue,” they are making contradictory statements. In this case, it is not possible for both statements to be true at the same time. To resolve this contradiction, one of the statements must be proven false, or the two parties must agree to disagree.

Contradiction in Arguments

Contradiction can also occur in arguments and debates. When someone makes a statement that contradicts another person’s argument, it can weaken the argument and make it difficult to reach a conclusion. For example, if someone argues that “all dogs are friendly,” and another person argues that “not all dogs are friendly,” the first argument is contradicted by the second. In this case, the second argument undermines the first, making it difficult to reach a conclusion about the nature of dogs.

Contradiction in Literature Contradiction can also be found in literature, where it can serve as a tool for writers to convey a deeper meaning or to create irony. In some cases, writers may use contradiction to illustrate a character’s inner conflict or to show the complexity of a situation.

For example, in William Faulkner’s novel “As I Lay Dying,” the protagonist Addie Bundren contradicts herself by stating that she loves and hates her husband at the same time. This contradiction conveys Addie’s conflicting feelings about her husband and highlights the complexity of her emotions.

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Contradiction in Philosophy

Contradiction is also an important concept in philosophy, where it is used to challenge beliefs and assumptions. Philosophers have long debated the concept of contradiction and its implications for knowledge and truth.

For example, in classical logic, a contradiction is considered to be a logical impossibility, as it asserts that something can be both true and false at the same time. This view of contradiction has been challenged by some philosophers, who argue that contradictions can sometimes be resolved or reconciled.

Contradiction in Science

Contradiction can also occur in scientific research, where it can challenge established theories and lead to new discoveries. When new evidence contradicts a previously accepted theory, scientists must reevaluate their assumptions and either modify or reject the theory.

For example, in the early 20th century, the theory of relativity contradicted the prevailing view of the nature of space and time. This contradiction led to a revolution in physics and paved the way for a new understanding of the universe.


Contradiction is a common occurrence in communication, arguments, literature, philosophy, and science. It can challenge beliefs, create confusion, and lead to new discoveries. Whether in a conversation, debate, or research, contradiction can play an important role in shaping our understanding of the world.

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