"wise-foolish"). In other words, oxymorons are contradictive words or phrases used intentionally to create an effect. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. ), so this article explains everything you need to know. Instead, they want to be witty and show they can use words to make people laugh. RELATED: Palindrome Examples: Words and Phrases That Are the Same Backwards and Forwards, RELATED: The Most Confusing Rules in the Grammar World, RELATED:The Best-Ever Hyperbole Examples, RELATED: Pangram Examples Every Word Lover Will Appreciate. An oxymoron is a conjoined pair of (seemingly) contradictory terms, e.g.deafening silence, pretty ugly, same difference, silent scream, or jumbo shrimp. Oxymorons are common in everyday speech. Shellfish. Well also provide you with an extensive list of oxymoronsso you can get a better feel for what oxymorons look and sound like. "Shrimp" in the sense of food is an animal. One feature of this kind of poem is its tendency to describe love as a strange mixture of pain and pleasure. Instead, meaning should be derived from the context in which an oxymoron is used. Two involve the palindrome, two involve the oxymoron, and one involves onomatopoeia. , oxymorons have a few different purposes in writing, all of which are quite useful in the right situation: Oxymorons tend to have deeper meanings and be more memorable than noncontradictory words, so they work great at key points in your writing for boosting reader engagement. An oxymoron is a phrase made of two or more words that actually have opposite meanings. As shown by this list of 100 awfully good examples, oxymorons are also part of our everyday speech. https://www.thoughtco.com/awfully-good-examples-of-oxymorons-1691814 (accessed March 4, 2023). Preparing totake the AP Literature test? The dictionary defines an oxymoron as a "wittily paradoxical turn of phrase that appeals to 'unconscious responses' instead of rational examinations". Oxymorons are often used poetically as a way of bringing out a fresh meaning in a word or phrase. that juxtaposes contradictory terms. 100 Awfully Good Examples of Oxymorons. Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. The main difference between an oxymoron and a paradox is that oxymorons use contradictory words whereas paradoxes use contradictory ideas. You might say that they juxtapose each other, which means, when placed close together, they create an. Huge List of Oxymorons. Too many uses of oxymoron can be either distracting or tedious for the reader. Like a paradox, an oxymoron is whats known as a contradiction in terms, although oxymorons and paradoxes are two different things, as explained below. Theme music by Joshua Stamper 2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP. And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true. They're not always small, and the word doesn't mean small in this sense. Reading these words together will often cause a reader to pause and think about what the writer is trying to convey. Therefore, the linguistic skill demonstrated in this oxymoron is a layered. In literary contexts, the author does not usually signal the use of an oxymoron, but in rhetorical usage, it has become common practice to advertise the use of an oxymoron explicitly to clarify the argument, as in: In this example, "Epicurean pessimist" would be recognized as an oxymoron in any case, as the core tenet of Epicureanism is equanimity (which would preclude any sort of pessimist outlook). In a more extended sense, the term "oxymoron" has also been applied to inadvertent or incidental contradictions, as in the case of "dead metaphors" ("barely clothed" or "terribly good"). An oxymoron is an opposition between a term and the qualification that is given it, or between two qualities attributed to a single term, or between the simultaneous denial and assertion of the same fact or concept. An oxymoron is a consecutive set of words that have contradictory meanings. This excerpt from Irish poet William Butler Yeats famous poem "Easter 1916" has the prominent oxymoron "terrible beauty," which is repeated again at the end of the poem. Or plastic silverware. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece Anticipation was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly contradictory or opposite ideas to create a certain rhetorical or poetic effect and reveal a deeper truth. Yes! . The other two oxymorons emphasize the fact that no matter what happensfor example,no matter how sad or defeated the speaker might feelthere willalways be a silver lining in that he'swith the love of his life. Here are some examples of oxymoron that may be found in everyday expression: insertListLink('', 2, 2, 'shortexamples'). "100 Awfully Good Examples of Oxymorons." However, liar has negative connotations, as in someone who is untruthful or deceptive. And, of course, plenty of people use oxymorons intentionally for humorous effect. Want to learn more about figures of speech, besides oxymorons and paradoxes? Listing of antonyms, such as "good and evil", "male and female", "great and small", etc., does not create oxymorons, as it is not implied that any given object has the two opposing properties simultaneously. J. R. R. Tolkien interpreted his own surname as derived from the Low German equivalent of dull-keen (High German toll-khn) which would be a literal equivalent of Greek oxy-moron. These 50+ oxymoron examples are listed alphabetically and arranged by category (i.e., the type of oxymoron word combination). Who Are The Most Romantic Literary Figures of All Time? The violent display ultimately led to thousands of deaths and injuries. The fascinating story behind many people's favori Can you handle the (barometric) pressure? Oxymorons aren't limited to the first few letters of the alphabet. . As rhetorical devices, oxymorons have been used in many different mediums from political speeches to novels to stage plays. As a literary device, it is used to make certain word combinations more thought-provoking to stand out. An oxymoronis a figure of speech, usually one or two words, in which seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side. Grammarly helps you communicate confidently. There are plenty more to be discovered! Oxymorons are an excellent, thought-provoking tool to use in writing, but they're certainly not the only device you should work with. The phrase original copyis a good illustration of an oxymoron. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! The term "oxymoron" is itself an oxymoron as it derives from the Greek "oxus" (sharp) and "moros" (stupid). Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. So elements that mean great and small combine to form a noun for a place to pick up your provisions. Whether bitter is really the opposite of sweet on the taste spectrum is arguable, but they are often contrasted since bitter is associated with medicines or some vegetables (like radishes) while sweet is associated with, well, sweets (candy and desserts). This love feel I, that feel no love in this. "faith unfaithful", "falsely true" (Tennyson), Bittersweet is the word for a pleasant feeling that is nonetheless marked by sadness or regret, such as the feeling one might have upon graduating from school, where many friendships were made. I want to receive exclusive email updates from YourDictionary. to compound the power behind certain words. Not monosyllabic or one word, but I came upon an "oxymoron that isn't" in a book I am reading, The Pale King, David Foster Wallace (posthumous): "spectacularly dull."It turns out this phrase is pretty common. The defining characteristic of an oxymoron is combining words or phrases that have opposite meanings. Sophomore is the term for a student in the second year at college or a 4-year secondary school. Saying that a picture or a scene is "painfully beautiful" calls attention to the speaker and the object of inquiry. 1, 'Cattywampus' and Other Funny-Sounding Words. Rather, an oxymoron is a cool literary device you can use in your creative writing. the word nascar is an oxymoron 03 Jun. Review the example sentences below to get a better sense of how oxymorons can be used in sentences and dialogue. The humour derives from implying that an assumption (which might otherwise be expected to be controversial or at least non-evident) is so obvious as to be part of the lexicon. Hopefully, this list of oxymora has helped you understand how this figure of speech is supposed to be used. If you are looking for something seriously funny that will serve as a simply brilliant example of an oxymoron, the following article provides you with a compiled oxymoron list. 1481-82). "with the hinder part before", compare hysteron proteron, "upside-down", "head over heels", "ass-backwards" etc. What SAT Target Score Should You Be Aiming For? Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced searchad free! Superette might not strike you as the most obvious oxymoron. The sentences in this section feature oxymorons from the list above. The word is said to be originated from the Greek words, oxy, meaning sharp, pointed and moron, moros that meant dull or foolish. The best way to make money is to spend money. By extension, oxymorons deal with the contrast between the meanings of words, but paradoxes focus on the contrast between complete ideas. Paired together, however, they create a deeper meaning. The word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron; in Greek, oxy- means "sharp" or "wise," while moros means "foolish." Is an oxymoron always 2 words? oxymoron definition: 1. two words or phrases used together that have, or seem to have, opposite meanings: 2. two words. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Like a paradox, an oxymoron is whats known as a contradiction in terms, although oxymorons and paradoxes are two different things, as explained below. Ask below and we'll reply! The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points, How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer, Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Lancelot and Elaine" inIdylls of the King. It was featured notably by Leonardo da Vinci in such works as The Adoration of the Magi (ca. Website, Richard Nordquist defines oxymorons as a literary device used by writers and poets for centuries "to describe life's inherent conflicts and incongruities.". In some languages, it is not necessary to place a conjunction like and between the two antonyms; such compounds (not necessarily of antonyms) are known as dvandvas (a term taken from Sanskrit grammar).