[ ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr- ]
/ ˌɒk sɪˈmɔr ɒn, -ˈmoʊr- /
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.”
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Origin of oxymoron
OTHER WORDS FROM oxymoronox·y·mo·ron·ic [ok-see-muh-ron-ik] /ˌɒk si məˈrɒn ɪk/, adjective
Words nearby oxymoron
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for oxymoron
/ (ˌɒksɪˈmɔːrɒn) /
noun plural -mora (-ˈmɔːrə)
rhetoric an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunctionliving death; fiend angelical
Word Origin for oxymoron
C17: via New Latin from Greek oxumōron, from oxus sharp + mōros stupid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for 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 Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.