An oxymoron (plural oxymora or oxymorons) is a figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory. Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors (such as "ground pilot") and literary oxymorons crafted to reveal a paradox. oxymoron is figure of speech in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect. It is also a contradiction in term. Related terms are oxymoronic, oxymoronically and oxymoronicness.
- In terms of the romantic kind of lead, I just never enjoy those movies very much. Maybe they'll come to interest me more as I get older. I doubt it, but maybe. Romantic comedies tend to be, for me, an oxymoron.
- I personally think intellectual property is an oxymoron. Physical objects have a completely different natural economy than intellectual goods. It's a tricky thing to try to own something that remains in your possession even after you give it to many others.
- Radical superman is a desirable oxymoron, a client that expresses the human desire to escape a natural tradeoff by taking both sides of a mutually exclusive dichotomy. Besides "radical superman," other examples of the desirable oxymoron are “science fiction”, “liberal democracy”, and “academic freedom”.
- Because the oxymoron introduces an unresolvable contradiction, it poses a problem in logic but not necessarily in tropics. If the desirable oxymoron is a representation, it can be dialectically resolved into two aspects of some greater truth.
- John Barnes, in: "Shaw and Science Fiction", p. 155.
- Successful therapy is an oxymoron.
- Oxymorons, often hilarious contradictory expressions, are sure to be the next delightful word craze, and... some of the best oxymorons around--phrases such as "pretty ugly", "plastic glasses", and many more.
- Warren S. Blumenfeld in Jumbo shrimp & other almost perfect oxymorons: contradictory expressions that make absolute sense, Putnam, 20 November 1986
- An 'oxymoron' is a figure of speech using an intended combination of two apparently contradictory terms.
- [[E.G.Brockerhoff] in: Plantation Forests and Biodiversity: Oxymoron or Opportunity?: Oxymoron Or Opportunity?, Springer Science & Business Media, 23 July 2010, p. 1.
- Plantation forests and Biodiversity: Oxymoron or Opportunity?
- [[E.G.Brockerhoff] in:"Plantation Forests and Biodiversity: Oxymoron or Opportunity?: Oxymoron Or Opportunity?", p. 1.
- I believe that 'advocacy journalism' is not an oxymoron. If that means that I'm going to disrupt the cable, partisan fracas of obsession over what this means from left and right, then so be it. I will be disruptive of it.
- Chris Cuomo in: Chris Cuomo is About to Get Mad as Hell on CNN Watch out, politicians By SamThielman, Adweek, 16 June 2013
- The term 'serious actor' is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Like 'Republican party' or 'airplane food.'
- The rhetorical figure that summarizes the idea of semantic paradox is the oxymoron. An oxymoron is an opposition between a term and the qualification that is given it, or between two qualities attributed to a single term, or between the simultaneous denial and assertion of the same fact or concept. The Greek expression “to oxymoron” refers, literally, to the “acutely mad”. The oxymoron is the essence of semantic contradiction whose variants are the paradox and the antithesis. Oxymoron is a semantic approximation of opposites.
- Christian Dunker in: The Constitution of the Psychoanalytic Clinic: A History of its Structure and Power, Karnac Books, 3 February 2011, p. 91
- Placing 'w:Amicableamicable' and 'separation' together creates an oxymoron - we don't usually decide to end a partnership until the very sight of our soon-to-be ex fills us with disgust, misery, agony or a combination of all three.
- The phrase "domestic cat" is an oxymoron.
- Robin D. Gill in: The Cat Who Thought Too Much - An Essay Into Felinity, Paraverse Press, 2010, p. 153
- The very concept of an Iranian university is an oxymoron. There are no free and open places of learning in that repressive theocracy. Dissenters are not given tenure; they are murdered, after first being tortured. Blasphemy, which is broadly defined, is punished. Gays are not only excluded from Iranian universities, but are imprisoned and killed. Women are oppressed. Baha’is are persecuted and killed. There is no freedom in Iran—a country that is seeking to develop nuclear weapons so that they can wipe the State of Israel off the map.
- Stephen Hawking in:Stephen Hawking Endorses Iranian and Chinese Repression,algemeiner.com
- Responsible Drinking? Now that's an Oxymoron.
- In the visual version of oxymoron, the material of which a thing is made (or appears to be made) takes the place of the adjective, and the thing itself (or thing represented) takes the place of the noun.
- 'Doing your own thing' and being a Christian is an oxymoron. As Christians, every day we need to be presenting ourselves before the Lord, thanking Him for His mercy and asking Him to make us more like Him by emptying us of our will, so God's will can be done.
- To be a mainstream American is to live as an oxymoron. You are a good Christian, but you strain to remain dynamically competitive.
- Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.
- In the church scene in the [Shakespeare's] Much Ado About Nothing, Claudio rejects the supposedly evil hero:But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! Farewell,
Though pure impiety and impious purity!
While there is actual Oxymoron in the second of these lines, we have, in the first, not an actual oxymoron but what may be called an expanded oxymoron.
- You know, my degrees are in computer engineering. I spent a lot of time in the tech industry. And I like to say that I don't invest in tech because I spent time in it. And I saw firsthand that the durability of technology moats is many times an oxymoron.
- Independent film is not only an oxymoron; it doesn't exist anymore.
- Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings though has perfected praise... is the perfect oxymoron.
- Psalms 8.3 in: Balázs Nagy, Marcell Sebők The man of many devices, who wandered full many ways, Central European University Press, 1999, p. 269.
- Romeo and Juliet, Act 1. Scene 1, in which Romeo utters nine oxymora in just six lines of soliloquy:
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate:
O anything, from nothing first create,
O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost though not laugh?
- William Shakespeare in: The Plays and Poems of William Shakspeare: With the Corrections and Illustrations of Various Commentators, Volume 6, F. C. and J. Rivington, 1821, p. 18-19
- Sex and older women used to be considered an oxymoron, rarely mentioned in the same breath.
- Gail Sheehy in: Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life, Random House Incorporated, 2006, p. 4
- 'Feminist comedy,' practically an oxymoron, had a couple of good years after WWII. Chalk it up to the forced female autonomy that occurred during wartime, when Rosie the Riveter went to work in the factories, constructing the Allies' war machines while taking charge of the finances, the home, and the children.
- I learned why 'out riding alone' is an oxymoron: An equestrian is never alone, is always sensing the other being, the mysterious but also understandable living being that is the horse.
- Jane Smiley in:Jane Smiley: Everything I need to know I learned from a horse, CNN.com, 5 September 2011
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- The word oxymoron is itself oxymoronic because it is formed from two Greek roots of opposite meaning, 'oxys' "sharp, keen," and 'moros' "foolish," the same root that gives us the word moron.
- Single-word Oxymora Composed of Dependent Morphemes are: wise fool; pianoforte, soft-loud, preposterous ("before-after"),, and superette ("big-small").
- Single-word Oxymora Composed of Independent Morphemes, that could each be a word in itself, such as spendthrift, bridegroom, bittersweet, ballpoint, speechwriting, firewater and someone.
- Logological Oxymora are words as surface letter combinations such as nook joins the opposing words no and OK, and the name Noyes, no and yes.
- Natural Oxymora are in pairs such as: inside out, student teacher, working vacation, small fortune, industrial park, open secret, sight unseen, loyal opposition, idiot savant, light heavyweight. original copy, final draft, random order, freezer burn, negative growth, standard deviation, build-down, elevated subway, mobile home, benign neglect, fresh frozen, deliberate speed, benevolent despot, recorded live, one-man band, old boy, and living end. The perception of these duos as oxymora is relatively direct and effortless and does not depend on plays on words or personal values.
- Conversion Puns are a group of oxymoronic pairs that rely on the coexistence of two parts of speech for the same word. Examples are: press release, kickstand, divorce court, building wrecking and White Rose.
- Dead Metaphors, which are emptied of original meaning, are: Fabulous (fable and awful), awful(ly) good, terribly good, damned good, many fewer, barely clothed, exactly wrong, clearly obfuscating, far nearer, kind of cruel, hardly easy, a little big, growing small, wicked good (product of American slang)