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n. pl. ox·y·mo·rons or ox·y·mo·ra (-môr′ə)
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

[Greek (attested only in Latin sources) oxumōron, an expression that is witty because paradoxical, from neuter of *oxumōros, pointedly foolish : Greek oxus, sharp, keen; see oxygen + mōros, dull, foolish.]

ox′y·mo·ron′ic (-mə-rŏn′ĭk) adj.
ox′y·mo·ron′i·cal·ly adv.


(Rhetoric) in an oxymoronic way
References in periodicals archive ?
Sadly, it was also the first American motion picture to be screened inside the White House, viewed there by President Woodrow Wilson, oxymoronically the defender of liberal morality and humanitarianism.
All in all, it was, oxymoronically, a wonderful showing of a theatrically misguided show.
Unlike the poor, urban people of color who have dominated the creation of hip-hop and who are generally united in institutional oppression, nerdcore rappers' experiences with marginalization are oxymoronically unified by their isolation.
As before, her emotions paralyze her; the intractable fluctuation of her interiority oxymoronically leads to her intractably frozen frame.
Moody's analysis, based entirely on her own reading of Grace's immediate physical appearance, produces a dualistic portrait that oxymoronically labels Grace as both innocent and cunning; it thereby discursively presents simultaneously two common contradictory stereotypes of women in the nineteenth century, while also dramatizing the process through which that stereotyping activity takes place.
An air of frustration pervades Canadian literary history from pioneers like Susanna Moodie, haunted by the impoverished imagination of Upper Canada (60), to contemporary ethnic writers, rudely confined by the term "ethnic" to a spectral liminality, where they appear oxymoronically as familiar strangers (180) or an unseen visible minority.
Therefore, despite depicting Caesar in a more positive light than Lucan, Fletcher and Massinger nevertheless invite the audience to consider the character as an oxymoronically self-conscious hubristic hero.
What about the hypothetical researcher spying under false pretences on consenting adults who have sex across the 'colour bar' in the old SA--something which, at that time, was 'illegal' --in terms of article 16 of SA's then 'Immorality Act', as that law was oxymoronically called--but certainly not immoral?
And, as the last of these phrases suggests, the poem oxymoronically represents snowflakes as stones.
Combine a deferred annuity with an income annuity and the resulting hybrid is what's often called a deferred income annuity (DIA), also known as a longevity annuity, longevity insurance and even oxymoronically as a deferred immediate annuity.
This evidence begs the question of whether the lack of improvement is a reflection of the "testing" mandate, which is not a school choice initiative at all, or of the "choice" mandate, which may or may not be considered a true school choice initiative because it somewhat oxymoronically "mandates choice.
Before the contemporary period of over weening confidence, (which the editors oxymoronically deny affirming) poets such as Mason, Curnow and Brasch and prose writers like Bill Pearson felt themselves to be in a cultural wasteland.