oxymoron(redirected from oxymorons)
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Related to oxymorons: paradox
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.
n, pl -mora (-ˈmɔːrə)
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) rhetoric an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction: living death; fiend angelical.
[C17: via New Latin from Greek oxumōron, from oxus sharp + mōros stupid]
ox•y•mo•ron(ˌɒk sɪˈmɔr ɒn, -ˈmoʊr-)
n., pl. -mo•ra (-ˈmɔr ə, -ˈmoʊr ə)
a figure of speech that uses seeming contradictions, as “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.”
[1650–60; < Late Greek oxýmōron, neuter of Greek oxýmōros pointedly foolish =oxý- oxy-1 + mōrós dull (see moron)]
ox•y•mo•ron•ic (ˌɒk si məˈrɒn ɪk) adj.
a rhetorical device or figure of speech in which contradictory or opposite words or concepts are combined for effect. — oxymoronic, adj.See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
1. The use of contradictory terms together to create an effect, such as in ”sweet conqueror.”
2. A statement combining two conflicting terms for effect.