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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Rhetoric) in an oxymoronic way
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Oxymoronically, many folks walk in to the Wild Birds shop "and ask where the birds are," said the amused Bodell.
Although this suggests that a plaintiff can only sue if an agency does something ("aggrieved by agency action"), the APA oxymoronically defines "agency action" as including the "failure to act." (35) The plaintiff in Norton claimed the agency's mandate required it to protect wilderness study areas from environmental deterioration, and environmentalists asserted the "use of ORVs on federal land has negative environmental consequences, including soil disruption and compaction, harassment of animals, and annoyance of wilderness lovers." (36) In Norton, the plaintiff therefore asked the Court to order the DOI to ban ORVs under the Court's authority in the APA to "compel agency action unlawfully withheld." (37)
(13) Milton frequently, oxymoronically plays with the Son's secondary identity to God, as in 6.680-84: "Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved, / Son in whose face invisible is beheld / Visibly, what by deity I am, / And in whose hand what by decree I do, / Second omnipotence.
As is true for many other highly modified copepods, their general morphology can be described oxymoronically as a model of complex simplicity.
Louis pushes himself to an unknown territory in which vampiric thirst and human guilt coexist and compete, tasting the distaste, bearing the almost unbearable, oxymoronically aestheticized by repulsively monstrous ugliness, in which an existence is sustained by the very factors that can terminate the existence, indicating a vampire religion that is both popular and peculiar, with either misunderstanding or immersion making it alluring in various ways, whether visual, visceral, secular, spiritual, painful, pleasurable, repulsive, or enchanting, which can involve simple, blind worship while also not lacking the complicity and potentiality of furthering contemplation.
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.
The minds which endow the language with meaning are set apart from material reality, and somewhat oxymoronically, the intervening gap is spanned by a separative model or interpretative mapping.
All in all, it was, oxymoronically, a wonderful showing of a theatrically misguided show.
The City's Planning Commission rejected the proposal, complaining (oxymoronically in light of its own zoning ordinance) that the development was too dense.
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.
Admittedly, the law-study's analysis of the determinants of the intensity of QV-investment competition in an ARDEPPS does assume (oxymoronically) that the relevant ARDEPPS can be defined nonarbitrarily.
As before, her emotions paralyze her; the intractable fluctuation of her interiority oxymoronically leads to her intractably frozen frame.