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'Oxymoron' as defined in the Dictionary

3 entries found for oxymoron


oxymoron [(ok-see- mawr -on)]
n. pl. ox·y·mo·ra (-môr-, -mor-a) or ox·y·mo·rons

A rhetorical device in which two seemingly contradictory words are used together for effect: “She is just a poor little rich girl.”
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.


[Greek oxumoron, from neuter of oxumoros, pointedly foolish  : oxus, sharp; see oxygen + moros, foolish, dull.]

ox-y·mo·ron-ic (-mo-ron-ik) adj.
ox-y·mo·ron-i·cal·ly adv.

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


oxymoron

\Ox`y*mo"ron\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ???, fr. ??? pointedly foolish; ??? sharp + ??? foolish.] (Rhet.) A figure in which an epithet of a contrary signification is added to a word; e. g., cruel kindness; laborious idleness.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


oxymoron

n : conjoining contradictory terms (as in 'deafening silence')

Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University







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