American English

Definition of paradox noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a person, thing, or situation that has two opposite features and therefore seems strange He was a paradox—a loner who loved to chat to strangers. It is a curious paradox that professional comedians often have unhappy personal lives.
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a statement containing two opposite ideas that make it seem impossible or unlikely, although it is probably true; the use of this in writing “More haste, less speed” is a well-known paradox. It's a work full of paradox and ambiguity.
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adjective It is paradoxical that some of the poorest people live in some of the richest areas of the country.
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adverb Paradoxically, the less she ate, the fatter she got.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: paradox