What does paradox mean?

Definitions for paradox
ˈpær əˌdɒkspara·dox

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word paradox.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. paradoxnoun

    (logic) a statement that contradicts itself

    "`I always lie' is a paradox because if it is true it must be false"


  1. paradoxnoun

    A self-contradictory statement, which can only be true if it is false, and vice versa.

    "This sentence is false" is a paradox.

  2. paradoxnoun

    A counterintuitive conclusion or outcome.

    It is an interesting paradox that drinking a lot of water can often make you feel thirsty.

  3. paradoxnoun

    A claim that two apparently contradictory ideas are true.

    Not having a fashion is a fashion; that's a paradox.

  4. paradoxnoun

    A person or thing having contradictory properties.

    He is a paradox; you would not expect him in that political party.

  5. paradoxnoun

    An unanswerable question or difficult puzzle, particularly one which leads to a deeper truth.

  6. paradoxnoun

    A statement which is difficult to believe, or which goes against general belief.

  7. paradoxnoun

    The use of counterintuitive or contradictory statements (paradoxes) in speech or writing.

  8. paradoxnoun

    A state in which one is logically compelled to contradict oneself.

  9. paradoxnoun

    The practice of giving instructions that are opposed to the therapist's actual intent, with the intention that the client will disobey or be unable to obey.

  10. Etymology: From paradoxe < paradoxum, from παράδοξος.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PARADOXnoun

    A tenet contrary to received opinion; an assertion contrary to appearance; a position in appearance absurd.

    Etymology: paradoxe, Fr. παϱάδοξος.

    A glosse there is to colour that paradox, and make it appear in shew not to be altogether unreasonable. Richard Hooker.

    You undergo too strict a paradox,
    Striving to make an ugly deed look fair. William Shakespeare.

    In their love of God, men can never be too affectionate; it is as true, though it may seem a paradox, that in their hatred of sin, men may be sometimes too passionate. Thomas Sprat.


  1. paradox

    A paradox is a statement, concept or situation that, despite also seeming to be logical or reasonable, contradicts itself or presents a conflict with commonly accepted truths. These contradictions can often reveal hidden truths or inspire deeper thought and analysis, appearing as illogical initially but potentially solvable upon further thought.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Paradoxnoun

    a tenet or proposition contrary to received opinion; an assertion or sentiment seemingly contradictory, or opposed to common sense; that which in appearance or terms is absurd, but yet may be true in fact

  2. Etymology: [F. paradoxe, L. paradoxum, fr. Gr. para`doxon; para` beside, beyond, contrary to + dokei^n to think, suppose, imagine. See Para-, and Dogma.]


  1. Paradox

    A paradox is an argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense. Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking. However, some have revealed errors in definitions assumed to be rigorous, and have caused axioms of mathematics and logic to be re-examined. Still others, such as Curry's paradox, are not yet resolved. In common usage, the word "paradox" often refers to irony or contradiction. Examples outside logic include the Grandfather paradox from physics, and the Ship of Theseus from philosophy. Paradoxes can also take the form of images or other media. For example, M.C. Escher featured perspective-based paradoxes in many of his drawings.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Paradox

    par′a-doks, n. that which is contrary to received opinion, or that which is apparently absurd but really true.—n. Par′adoxer.—adjs. Paradox′ic, -al, of the nature of a paradox: inclined to paradoxes, said of persons.—adv. Paradox′ically.—ns. Paradox′icalness; Paradox′ides, a genus of trilobites; Par′adoxist; Par′adoxy, the quality of being paradoxical.—Hydrostatic paradox (see Hydrostatics). [Through Fr. and L., from Gr. paradoxonpara, contrary to, doxa, an opinion.]

Editors Contribution

  1. Paradox

    Dilema. Your little is a lot When you give your all.

    Submitted by anonymous on May 6, 2020  

  2. Paradox

    Good words are worth much But cost little.

    Submitted by anonymous on July 2, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. paradox

    Song lyrics by paradox -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by paradox on the Lyrics.com website.

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How to pronounce paradox?

How to say paradox in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of paradox in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of paradox in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of paradox in a Sentence

  1. Hossein Rassam:

    This has been always a paradox in the Islamic Republic, while the revolutionary state condones or supports such attacks to capitalize on their revolutionary momentum, the administration dismisses them as it should deal with their diplomatic consequences.

  2. Anthony Ghosn:

    They'll only let him out on the condition he confesses, he [ Carlos Ghosn ] doesn't speak Japanese and the paradox is that the confession they want him to sign is written exclusively in Japanese.

  3. John Brabender:

    The paradox is that what the others see as evidence this is going to be a different type of president, among some of the more moderate voters, particularly Rust Belt women, they have problems with that tone.

  4. Craig Friebolin:

    Real men aren't afraid of childish accusations. (Quite the paradox eh?)

  5. Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard, November 12, 1936:

    So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.

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"paradox." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/paradox>.

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    (used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
    • A. usurious
    • B. askant
    • C. irascible
    • D. lank

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