Possible Duplicate:
English words that are their own antonyms

What is a word that is a contradiction of itself? I googled this and I got "paradox", but paradox means:

A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition.

What I am actually looking for is a word that actually has two different meanings. This came up while I looked up the meaning of the word "scan", and I found out that it had several meanings:

–verb (used with object)
to glance at or over or read hastily: to scan a page.
to examine the particulars or points of minutely; scrutinize.

I realized that there was a term for this, but I couldn't quite remember.

Can someone please help me?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jun 2 '11 at 10:23

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • What are the sources for these quotes? – teylyn Jun 2 '11 at 10:24
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    @Reg, Sir, this isn't a duplicate. That question was asking for a list of English words that are their own contradiction. I am asking the name of English words that are their own contradiction. – Thursagen Jun 2 '11 at 10:26
  • Question: "Also, what are such words most commonly called? I like the term 'Janus word' I once heard, but is that widely understood?" Top answer: "I think you're referring to Auto-antonyms. They are not the same word but a homograph (a word of the same spelling) that is also an antonym. I guess, Janus word is also acceptable." – RegDwigнt Jun 2 '11 at 10:37
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    Thanks! Why didn't you answer, instead of closing it? – Thursagen Jun 2 '11 at 10:41
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    The link that Reg gave also gave autoantonym. So it really is a duplicate of your question. – Mitch Jun 2 '11 at 12:55