The 42-year-old actress explained the term in an interview with The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday. Paltrow and the 37-year-old singer raised eyebrows when they announced they would "consciously uncouple" in March 2014, but the star said the phrase means more than a separation.
"[It's] a philosophy," she told host Howard Stern. "It's a very noble idea, and it's a great thing, I think, to try to do for your kids. And it's working, but it is kind of a goofy term and I didn't know it was going to cause such a big thing."
Paltrow revealed the term comes from philosopher Dr. Habib Sadeghi and his wife, Dr. Shahrzad, and explained the phrase means to break up with "minimal acrimony." She and Martin have two children, daughter Apple and son Moses, and keep their relationship friendly for the sake of their family.
"You say, 'Look, we're a family. We have kids. We're always gonna be a family and let's try to find all the positives in our relationship, all the things that brought us together and the friendship,'" she related. "We actually have a really strong friendship ... You really say, 'I really want to find my love for you.'"
Martin was linked to 24-year-old actress Jennifer Lawrence after he and Paltrow split, but the couple broke up in October 2014. Paltrow reportedly supported the relationship, and declared her ex wouldn't be "with someone who wasn't great" in the interview.
"In a lot of ways I feel that our culture sets [women] up to make us competitive and to pit us against one another," she told Good Morning America earlier in the day. "I think, you know, essentially to be feminine is to be loving of other women and forgiving of ourselves."
Paltrow and Martin met in October 2002, and married in December 2003. The former couple welcomed Apple in May 2004, and Moses in April 2006. The actress admitted she sometimes thinks she and the Coldplay frontman should have stayed together in December.