1. A statement that seems to contradict itself but may nonetheless be true: the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking.
2. A person, thing, or situation that exhibits inexplicable or contradictory aspects: "The silence of midnight, to speak truly, though apparently a paradox, rung in my ears" (Mary Shelley).
3. A statement that is self-contradictory or logically untenable, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises.
[Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter sing. of paradoxos, conflicting with expectation : para-, beyond; see PARA-1 + doxa, opinion (from dokein, to think; see dek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.