What Is Oxymoron?
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An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposing terms are put together. A good example is the term “pretty ugly.” You have to think for a minute before realizing that the phrase contains two words that are the exact opposite because chances are that oxymora are such an accepted part of your speech that you’re not even aware of them. Or as Richard Watson Todd puts it, “The true beauty of oxymor[a] is that, unless we sit back and really think, we happily accept them as normal English.”
The term oxymoron comes from the Ancient Greek word oxumoron, which is itself an oxymoron, a combination of “oxus,” meaning sharp, and “moros,” meaning dull.
How Do You Identify Oxymoron in Writing?
An Oxymoron is very similar to a paradox. The main difference is that, while a paradox combines two contrasting concepts to illustrate an underlying truth, an oxymoron does not need to lead to deeper understanding.
Examples of Oxymoron
Oxymoron Examples 1. The scene was one of controlled chaos.
Oxymoron Examples 2. Just give me the original copy.
Oxymoron Examples 3. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” — Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Oxymoron Examples 4. That taco was awfully good.
Oxymoron Examples 5. Glenda’s proposal was met with deafening silence.
Oxymoron Examples 6. He’s the most devout atheist I’ve ever met.
Oxymoron Examples 7. She was found missing in her parent’s home.
Oxymoron Examples 8. Her stash of Halloween candy was growing smaller all the time.
Oxymoron Examples 9. That couch is made of genuine imitation leather.
Oxymoron Examples 10. That’s a definite maybe.