oxymoron [ok-si- mawr-on, - mohr-] Word Origin See more synonyms for oxymoron on Thesaurus.com noun, plural ox·y·mo·ra , [ok-si- mawr- uh, - mohr- uh] /ˌɒk sɪˈmɔr ə, -ˈmoʊr ə/ ox·y·mor·ons. . Rhetoric a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.” Origin of oxymoron 1650–60;
Late Latin oxymorum
sharp-dull, equivalent to
) sharp (see
Related forms ox·y·mo·ron·ic , [ok-see-m uh- ron-ik] /ˌɒk si məˈrɒn ɪk/ adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for oxymora noun plural -mora ( -ˈmɔːrə) rhetoric an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction living death; fiend angelical Word Origin
C17: via New Latin from Greek
oxumōron, from oxus sharp + mōros stupid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for oxymora oxymoron n.
1650s, from Greek
oxymoron, noun use of neuter of oxymoros (adj.) "pointedly foolish," from oxys "sharp" (see acrid) + moros "stupid" (see moron). Rhetorical figure by which contradictory terms are conjoined so as to give point to the statement or expression; the word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean "contradiction in terms." Related: Oxymoronic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
oxymoron [(ok-see- mawr-on)]
A rhetorical device in which two seemingly contradictory words are used together for effect: “She is just a poor little rich girl.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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