English version

a contradiction in terms

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englisha contradiction in termsa contradiction in termsOPPOSITE/REVERSEa combination of words that seem to be the opposite of each other, with the result that the phrase has no clear meaning ‘Permanent revolution’ is a contradiction in terms. contradiction
Examples from the Corpus
a contradiction in termsThe problem is that there's little to offer in between; high street quality seems almost a contradiction in terms.It is just too easy to dismiss the idea of ethical business as a contradiction in terms.The most important instrument of dirigisme is subsidy, even though subsidy in a free market in a contradiction in terms.One may say that socialist market economy is a contradiction in terms.In our business, the phrase "harmless error" is a contradiction in terms.Indeed the idea of civil service leadership is a contradiction in terms within a democracy.It is sometimes argued that a science of religion is a contradiction in terms.Leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms.Clearly, an unreflective or uncritical citizenry would be highly undesirable as well as, strictly speaking, a contradiction in terms.
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