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oxymoron

Definition:

conjoining contradictory terms (as in "deafening silence")

Class:

communication noun (communicative processes and contents)

Plurals:

oxymora | oxymorons

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Etymology:

First attested in the 17th century, noun use of 5th century Latin oxymōrum (a),...
(Source: Wiktionary)  [more]

Definition references

Wikipedia:

Oxymoron | oxymora | oxymorons

a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors such as ground pilot and literary oxymorons crafted to reveal a paradox. The most common form of oxymoron involves an ... (38 of 1172 words, 1 image)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Oxymoron

Collins Dictionary:

oxymoron [rhetoric] | oxymora [plural]

an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction (11 of 330 words, 9 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/oxymoron

Merriam-Webster:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymoronic [adjective, related] | oxymoronically [adverb, related]

a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly; something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or ... (22 of 228 words, pronunciations)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/oxymoron

Wiktionary:

oxymoron | oxymorons [plural] | oxymora [plural]

A figure of speech in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect. | A contradiction in terms. (21 of 131 words, 2 definitions, 9 usage examples, pronunciations)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/oxymoron

Oxford Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymoronic [derived]

a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true) (19 of 60 words, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/oxymoron

American Heritage Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymorons [plural] | oxymoronic [adjective, related] | oxymoronically [adverb, related]

A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in "a deafening silence" and "a mournful optimist". (20 of 52 words, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/oxymoron

Macmillan British Dictionary:

oxymoron [countable, literary] | oxymorons [plural]

an expression that contains words with opposite meanings, for example "a bitter sweet experience" (=an experience that is both unpleasant and ... (21 of 48 words, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/oxymoron

New World Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymoronic [adjective, related]

a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory ideas or terms are combined (Ex.: thunderous silence, sweet sorrow) (19 of 40 words, pronunciations)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/oxymoron

Random House Dictionary:

oxymoron [rhetoric] | oxymora [plural]

a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in "cruel kindness" or "to make haste slowly." (23 of 35 words, pronunciations)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/oxymoron

Cambridge Dictionary:

oxymoron

two words used together which have, or seem to have, opposite meanings (12 of 17 words, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/oxymoron

Britannica Encyclopedia:

figure of speech [rhetoric]

any intentional deviation from literal statement or common usage that emphasizes, clarifies, or embellishes both written and spoken language. Forming ... (20 of 643 words)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/559055​/figure-of-speech

Columbia Encyclopedia:

figure of speech | figures of speech

intentional departure from straight-forward, literal use of language for the purpose of clarity, emphasis, or freshness of expression. See separate ... (20 of 41 words)

www​.infoplease​.com​/ce​6​/ent​/A​0818666​.html

Encarta Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymorons [plural]

a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, e.g. "wise fool" or "legal murder" (21 of 54 words, pronunciations)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861685061​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Wiktionary:

oxymoron | oxymorons [plural] | oxymora [plural]

Origin: First attested in the 17th century, noun use of 5th century Latin oxymōrum (a), neut. nom. form of oxymōrus (a), from Ancient Greek ὀξύμωρος (oxumōros), compound of ὀξύς... (28 of 76 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/oxymoron

Online Etymology:

oxymoron

First use: 1650s

Origin: Greek oxymoron, noun use of neuter of oxymoros (adjective) "pointedly foolish", from oxys "sharp" + moros "stupid". ... (18 of 53 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=oxymoron

Oxford Dictionary:

oxymoron

First use: mid 17th century

Origin: Greek oxumōron, neuter (used as a noun) of oxumōros "pointedly foolish", from oxus "sharp" + mōros "foolish"

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/oxymoron

Merriam-Webster:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural]

First use: 1657

Origin: Late Greek oxymōron, from neuter of oxymōros pointedly foolish, from Greek oxys sharp, keen + mōros foolish

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/oxymoron

American Heritage Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymorons [plural]

Origin: Greek oxumōron, from neuter of oxumōros, pointedly foolish: oxus, sharp; see "oxygen" + mōros, foolish, dull.

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/oxymoron

Collins Dictionary:

oxymoron [rhetoric] | oxymora [plural]

First use: 17th century

Origin: via New Latin from Greek oxumōron, from oxus sharp + mōros stupid

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/oxymoron

New World Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural]

Origin: Late Greek oxymōron from neuter of oxymōros, acutely silly: see "oxy-" and "moron"

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/oxymoron

Encarta Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymora [plural] | oxymorons [plural]

First use: Mid-17th century

Origin: Greek oxumōron, form of oxumōros from oxus "sharp" + mōros "foolish"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861685061​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Wiktionary:

oxymoron | oxymorons [plural] | oxymora [plural]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/oxymoron

Collins Dictionary:

oxymoron [rhetoric] | oxymora [plural]

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/oxymoron

Macmillan British Dictionary:

oxymoron [countable, literary] | oxymorons [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/oxymoron

Macmillan American Dictionary:

oxymoron [countable, literary] | oxymorons [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "oxymoron"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/oxymoron

Cambridge Dictionary:

oxymoron

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "oxymoron"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "oxymoron"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/oxymoron

the Free Dictionary:

oxymoron

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/oxymoron

Google Dictionary:

oxymoron | oxymorons [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "oxymoron"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=oxymoron

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

oxymoron

Audio: North American pronunciation of "oxymoron"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=oxymor​01 word=oxymoron

YourDictionary Audio:

oxymoron

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/oxymoron

freedictionary.org:

oxymoron

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "oxymoron" by speech synthesizer

freedictionary​.org​/ Query=oxymoron

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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