V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics; 2. a statement or idea that contradicts itself; 3. a person who has qualities that are contradictory; 4. something that conflicts with common opinion or belief

Synonyms: contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity, reversal, puzzle, dilemma, oxymoron

Antonyms: consistency, congruity, coherence, agreement

Tips: Paradox is derived from the Greek paradoxos, which literally means, “contrary to opinion.” It is often interesting to point out a paradoxical situation. Something may defy common sense, yet work anyway. Paradox is often used to describe something that is puzzling because of its contradiction (see usage examples). See enigma for further analysis of paradox.

Usage Examples:

It seems a paradox that exercise promotes energy, while remaining inactive drains it. (contradiction, puzzle)

It is a paradox that technology increases communication, yet can tend to make people feel isolated. (incongruity, contradiction)

There was a huge paradox in her testimony: How could she have been in two places at the same time? (contradiction, inconsistency)

"The chicken or the egg" is perhaps the greatest paradox known to man. (puzzle, dilemma)

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