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Contradiction in terms   /kˌɑntrədˈɪkʃən ɪn tərmz/   Listen
Contradiction in terms

noun
1.
(logic) a statement that is necessarily false.  Synonym: contradiction.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Contradiction in terms" Quotes from Famous Books



... him to hold malice. He was violent sometimes, but that he could have gone about for hours with a pistol in his pocket and murder in his heart; that he could have planned Ben Armstrong's death and carried it out deliberately—it's a contradiction in terms. It's impossible, being Jack. You must know this—you know your ...
— The Lifted Bandage • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... us that nothing which is of the opposite tendency can be according to the will of God. For God (the good) to will any of the "evil" that is in the world would be for Life to act with the purpose of diminishing itself, which is a contradiction in terms to the very idea of Life. God is Life, and Life is, by its very nature, Affirmative. The submission we have hitherto made has been to our own weakness, ignorance, and fear, and not to ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... that I observed the magistrates, not thinking the laws which had been made against us severe enough, perverted the law in order to punish us. For calling our peaceable meetings riots, which in the legal notion of the word riot is a contradiction in terms, they indicted our friends as rioters for only sitting in a meeting, though nothing was there either said or done by them, and then set fines on them ...
— The History of Thomas Ellwood Written by Himself • Thomas Ellwood

... or indirectly, to human senses, there is a God. If otherwise, there is no God, or none, at any rate, so far as we can know, none with whom we need concern ourselves. No conscious personality, no God. An impersonal God is as much a contradiction in terms ...
— God the Known and God the Unknown • Samuel Butler

... matter, or physical energy, or anything else that is quantitatively measurable, into such an unseen world, may be set down as impossible, by reason of the very definition of such a world. Any hypothesis which should assume such a transfer would involve a contradiction in terms. But the hypothesis of a survival of present psychical phenomena in such a world, after being denuded of material conditions, is not in itself absurd or self-contradictory, though it may be impossible to ...
— The Unseen World and Other Essays • John Fiske

... the civil wars the House of Commons had enjoyed the fullest confidence of the nation. A House of Commons, distrusted, despised, hated by the Commons, was a thing unknown. The very words would, to Sir Peter Wentworth or Sir Edward Coke, have sounded like a contradiction in terms. But by degrees a change took place. The Parliament elected in 1661, during that fit of joy and fondness which followed the return of the royal family, represented, not the deliberate sense, but the momentary caprice of the nation. Many of the members were men who, a few months earlier ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... obscure, is of somewhat doubtful import, and for that reason, unsatisfactory. I should have preferred a little more directness. What is the condition of an enactment which is declared by a subsequent act of Congress to be "inoperative and void?" Does it remain in force? I take it, not. That would be a contradiction in terms, to say that an enactment which had been declared by act of Congress inoperative and void is still in force. Then, if it is not in force, if it is not only inoperative and void, as it is to be declared, but ...
— American Eloquence, Volume III. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... attributes or possessions. It is eternal, immutable, and independent of all attributes. The affirmance of attributes with respect to the Soul directly leads to the inference of its destructibility, and hence the assertion of its permanency or indestructibility under such conditions is a contradiction in terms, according to what is urged ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... however, consider for a moment what can be meant by a sensation of Space. Does it not look very like a contradiction in terms? Pure Space, if it means anything, means absolute material emptiness and vacuity. How, then, by any possibility can it give rise to a sensation? What sensory organ can it be conceived as affecting? How and in what ...
— Essays Towards a Theory of Knowledge • Alexander Philip

... Good of the Whole is taken care of by the Whole (as 'tis in our Case) the having a King or Queen at the Head of it, alters not the Case; and the softning of it by calling it a Limited Monarchy, seems a Kind of Contradiction in Terms, invented to please ...
— Franco-Gallia • Francis Hotoman

... to divide Imperial from local powers; for if this division be accurately made, and the former class of powers be reserved to the British Crown and British Parliament, while the latter only are intrusted to the Irish Parliament, it becomes a contradiction in terms to say that Imperial unity is dissolved by reserving to the Imperial authority all its powers, or that Home Rule is a sundering of the Imperial tie when that tie is preserved inviolable. Imperial powers, ...
— Handbook of Home Rule (1887) • W. E. Gladstone et al.

... imagine an unconscious selection—it is for him a contradiction in terms. Did M. Flourens ever visit one of the prettiest watering-places of "la belle France," the Baie d'Arcachon? If so, he will probably have passed through the district of the Landes, and will have had an opportunity of observing the formation of "dunes" on a grand scale. ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... to say, Stephen. The Dancing Faun and the Frieze of the Parthenon express movements. But they do nothing of the sort. They express movements arrested at a certain point. They are supposed to represent nature, but they do not even do that, because arrested motion is a contradiction in terms, and because the point of arrest is ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair

... distance of Poussin, having no indication of trees, nor of meadows, nor of character of any kind, may be fifty miles off, or may be five; we cannot tell—we have no measure, and in consequence, no vivid impression. But a middle distance of Hobbima's involves a contradiction in terms; it states a distance by perspective, which it contradicts ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... to pressing. It consisted in the killing of a man, by whatever means and in whatever manner, whilst endeavouring to press him, and the immediate effect of the act, which was common enough, was to set up a remarkable contradiction in terms. The man killed was not the victim of the accident. The victim was the officer or gangsman who was responsible for striking him off the roll of His Majesty's pressable subjects, and who thus let himself in for the consequences, ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... are "burnt onion" and "fresh spinach." The florists talk of a "pink violet" and a "green pink." A maker of inks describes the red as a "true crimson scarlet," which is a contradiction in terms. These and a host of other names borrowed from the most heterogeneous sources, become outlawed as soon as the simple color terms and measures of this system ...
— A Color Notation - A measured color system, based on the three qualities Hue, - Value and Chroma • Albert H. Munsell

... should have been printed, "God is all, and yet is no thing;" For what does 'thing' mean? Itself, that is, the 'ing', or inclosure, that which is contained within an outline, or circumscribed. So likewise to 'think' is to inclose, to determine, confine and define. To think an infinite is a contradiction in terms equal to a boundless bound. So in German 'Ding, ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... some Western nations might learn a few things. Japan has, in her education system, settled the religious question simply by ignoring it. Her morality as inculcated in every school in the country, is a purely secular morality. I know that there are some persons who will deem secular morality a contradiction in terms. Indeed there are many eminent Japanese who do not approve of the present system. Count Okuma, for example, one of the ablest men in the country, bewails the lack of a moral standard. The upper classes have, he remarks, Chinese philosophy, the great mass of the people ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... over he essays, with equal success, to expound its purport. First, loc. cit., he finds fault with gird as being employed in rather an unusual manner; or, if taken in its common meaning of taunt or reproof, then that kindly is said ironically; because there seems to be a contradiction in terms. (Monck Mason's rank distortion of the words, there cited, I will not pain the reader's sight with.) MR. COLLIER'S note concludes with a supposition that gird may possibly be a misprint. This is the misery! Men will sooner suspect the text than their own understanding ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 188, June 4, 1853 • Various

... relatively late misinterpretation is the original and true meaning of the rite; in a word, that there was no religion in the earliest manifestation of religion. But it is precisely this last contention which is fatal to the Gift-theory. Not only is it a self-contradiction in terms, but it denies the very possibility of religious evolution. Evolution is a process and a continuous process: there is an unbroken continuity between the earliest and the latest of its stages. If there was no religion whatever in the earliest stages, neither ...
— The Idea of God in Early Religions • F. B. Jevons

... few words in regard to a somewhat peculiar principle, which, whether rightfully or wrongfully, has always had its influence in my own critical estimate of the poem. I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, "a long poem," is simply a flat contradiction in terms. ...
— Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Poetical Works • Edgar Allan Poe

... a contradiction in terms for a fleet to win a battle by letting itself be destroyed. ...
— Talents, Incorporated • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... hand, has ever heard of a renegade Wagnerite? Such an animal does not exist, and if a specimen could be found, it would pay to exhibit him in a dime museum. The very expression seems a contradiction in terms. Wagner frequently asserted that no one could understand his music unless he admired it; and there is truth in this, for only enthusiasm can sharpen the mental faculties sufficiently to enable us ...
— Chopin and Other Musical Essays • Henry T. Finck

... in the defect of power. Whoever, therefore, has power, may employ it to this extent; and no previous convention is required to justify his conduct. But a right to do wrong, or to commit injustice, is an abuse of language, and a contradiction in terms. It is no more competent to the collective body of a people, than it is to any single usurper. When we admit such a prerogative in the case of any sovereign, we can only mean to express the extent of his power, and the force with which he is enabled to execute his pleasure. Such a prerogative is ...
— An Essay on the History of Civil Society, Eighth Edition • Adam Ferguson, L.L.D.

... come, to whom they are responsible? I think not. In any such community—and Rome is becoming such a one—the elements of disruption, anarchy, and ruin, are there at work, and will overthrow it. A society of atheists is a contradiction in terms. Atheists may live alone, but not together. Will you compel your subjects to become such? If a part remain true to the ancient faith, and find it to be sufficient, will you deny to the other part the ...
— Aurelian - or, Rome in the Third Century • William Ware

... at present determined, suppose c, Fig. XXX. Then, as b is two of the straight lines at a, set up against each other, we may conceive an arrangement, d, made up of two of the curved lines at c, set against each other. This is called a pointed arch, which is a contradiction in terms: it ought to be called a curved gable; but it must keep the ...
— The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3) • John Ruskin



Words linked to "Contradiction in terms" :   untruth, falsehood, paradox, antinomy, logic, falsity



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