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oxymoron

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English

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Etymology

From 5th cen. [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] oxymoron, from Ancient Greek ὀξύς (oxus), sharp) + μωρός (mōros), dull) [1]. Greek ὀξύμωρον (oxumōron) is not found in the extant Greek sources, according to the OED [2].

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
oxymoron

Plural
{{{1}}}

oxymoron ({{{1}}})
  1. A figure of speech in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect.
    A famous example is Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, ll. 63-4:
    No light, but rather darkness visible
    Serv'd only to discover sights of woe
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) A contradiction in terms.
  3. A paradoxical juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory words.

Usage notes

  • Traditionally, the word oxymoron is used in cases where the contradiction is deliberate, its purpose being to emphasize or heighten a contrast. The use of oxymoron as a synonym for contradiction in terms is considered incorrect by some speakers and writers, and is perhaps best avoided in certain contexts. (See the Wikipedia article.)

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