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[par-uh-dok-si-kuh l] /ˌpær əˈdɒk sɪ kəl/

having the nature of a ; self-contradictory.
Medicine/Medical. not being the normal or usual kind:
Stimulants are a paradoxical, albeit effective, medication used for certain forms of hyperactivity.

1580s, from paradox + -ical. Competing forms were paradoxal (1560s), paradoxial (1620s), but they survive in niches, if at all. Related: Paradoxically.


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  • Paradoxical pulse

    paradoxical pulse n. An exaggeration of the normal variation in the pulse during respiration, in which the pulse becomes weaker as one inhales and stronger as one exhales; it is characteristic of constrictive pericarditis or pericardial effusion.

  • Paradoxical reflex

    paradoxical reflex n. A reflex in which the usual response is reversed or does not conform to the pattern characteristic of the particular reflex.

  • Paradoxical respiration

    paradoxical respiration n. The deflation of the lung during inspiration and inflation during expiration.

  • Paradoxical-sleep

    noun, Physiology. 1. . noun 1. (physiol) sleep that appears to be deep but that is characterized by a brain wave pattern similar to that of wakefulness, rapid eye movements, and heavier breathing paradoxical sleep n. See REM sleep.

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