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  • adjective grammar Of an adjective, not describing itself.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not corresponding in structure or evolutionary origin


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Grelling-Nelson paradox: Is the word "heterological", meaning "not applicable to itself," a heterological word?

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  • The sources were abundant ” letters, court records, pamphlets, memoirs ” and since Certeau's original French edition was part of a series of primary documents, he could prepare a book with different voices and thereby capture a "heterological" perspective: his own from the present, and those from the past, "each of [the] halves say [ing] what is missing from the other."

    The Quest of Michel de Certeau

  • Both contradictions can be presented as sequences of equivalences, and both sequences share the same structure, as seen below (where "het" abbreviates "heterological"):


  • It should be stressed that Weyl's attitude towards Grelling's antinomy is utterly negative: he considers it pure Scholasticism (Weyl 1918, section 1): there is no way, according to him, of assigning a meaning to ˜heterological™ and one should ultimately resolve these problems by appealing to philosophy.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • To each word there corresponds a concept, that the very word designates, and which applies to it or does not apply; in the first case, we call the word autological, else heterological.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • Now the word ˜heterological™ itself is autological or heterological.

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • But if the word is heterological, the designated concept does not apply, so

    Paradoxes and Contemporary Logic

  • In other words, “Is ˜heterological™ heterological?” is ill formed (and so meaningless on syntactic grounds).

    Epistemic Paradoxes

  • The common solution to this puzzle is that ˜heterological™, as defined by Grelling, is not a genuine predicate (Thomson 1962).

    Epistemic Paradoxes

  • Now for the riddle: Is ˜heterological™ heterological or autological?

    Epistemic Paradoxes


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  • Is the word heterological heterological?

    December 12, 2006

  • See autological.

    January 25, 2008

  • heterological should be neither autological or heterological, see the Wiki entry of Grelling-Nelson paradox.

    April 25, 2009

  • okay, so does THIS describe something like pulchritudinous (or matinal crepuscule)?

    July 17, 2010

  • Utahraptor: So is "heterological" heterological?

    T-Rex: Well if it IS, then it's self-describing, which means autological. And if it ISN'T, then it's autological again too. Huh. If this paradox is supposed to make me trip balls, you should know I've taken the precaution of having them TIGHTLY SECURED.

    July 13, 2011