English

2731 Followers - 233 Articles - 557 Questions and Answers

Oxymorons

by Tiffany

What is an oxymoron?



Basically, an oxymoron is a phrase or figure of speech that takes two words together that appear to have opposite meanings, i.e., a contradiction in terms.

Oxymoron comes from two words in Greek: oxy, meaning sharp, and moros, meaning dull. These are two opposites - so you could say the word oxymoron is an oxymoron!
The plural for oxymoron is oxymora.

When is it used?
Some oxymorons are found in common day language, such as "white chocolate" (these are two different colours, although the term chocolate is actually meant to be the food chocolate, and not the colour chocolate), or "pianoforte" (this means soft-loud). Writers often use oxymorons intended to create an ironic sense of humour or to create puns. They can also use oxymorons to emphasize certain qualities or ideas, or even to confuse the reader.


Some common examples of oxymorons



They may not seem contradictory - in fact, they will make sense if you understand the context of the expression. However, when taken at face value in terms of each word's separate definition, you will be able to notice the contradiction.



  • a deafening silence

  • the living dead

  • "start stopping"

  • resident alien

  • small crowd

  • silent alarm

  • mercy killing

  • friendly fire

  • holy war

  • plastic glass

  • black light

  • act naturally

  • same difference

  • constant change

Oxymorons used for humour



Often words will be put together and used as oxymorons for editorial comments, whether for political or ideological purposes. For example, if you say the phrase "honest politician" is an oxymoron, then you are implying that politicans are inherently dishonest. This is intended to be humorous, yet it still makes a political comment.


There are other similar oxymorons which are used in this way. See if you can understand the editorial comment they are trying to convey:


  • government organization

  • responsible government

  • military intelligence

  • Microsoft Works

  • honest lawyer



Uses in Literature



In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Romeo makes many oxymorons when describing his love of Rosaline to Benvolio:


"Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O anything of nothing first create,
A heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead…"


Juliet also makes some oxymorons when she finds about Romeo killing her cousin.


"O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!
Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical'
Dove-feathered raven, wolfish ravening lamb'
A damned saint, an honourable villain"


A popular English poet, Alfred Tennyson, makes has two oxymorons within this line of his poem Idylls of the King:


"And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true"


You see here the ability of oxymorons to emphasis meaning in literature. What other oxymorons can you think of?



Images
Funkblast
Brymo

608 Comments
    khatri58
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    khatri58Sat, 29 Aug 2015 12:17:07 -0000

    Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success free software

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    khatri58
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    khatri58Sat, 29 Aug 2015 12:10:28 -0000

    Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    imtiiz
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    imtiizSat, 29 Aug 2015 11:48:39 -0000

    If you're writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, they'll have different expectations of what constitutes common knowledge…unblock web

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Sat, 29 Aug 2015 08:33:21 -0000

    Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you. our website

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    khatri58
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    khatri58Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:30:48 -0000

    I have bookmarked this page. Please keep me in your mailing list. Thank you.url

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    MadelynRatterree
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    MadelynRatterreeFri, 28 Aug 2015 11:42:52 -0000

    I believe one of your adverts caused my browser to resize, you may well want to put that on your blacklist.
    Life Insurance Calgary
    Super Visa Canada
    best performing mutual funds
    Calgary Mortgage Broker
    Edmonton Mortgage Broker

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    mena99260
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    mena99260Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:19:30 -0000

    Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write… syringa inc

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Sat, 29 Aug 2015 06:38:26 -0000

    This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.
    More Info

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:52:43 -0000

    I liked lesson your pieces. This is really a fantastic interpret for me. I enjoy bookmarked it furthermore I am looking before to lesson pristine story's. trampoline safety netting

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:32:43 -0000

    Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon what is rehab

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    cinfer
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    cinferTue, 25 Aug 2015 19:46:47 -0000

    This is what i have been searching for. It is a very interesting and useful posting. I have bookmarked this page. Please keep me in your mailing list. Thank you. the-criterion-executive-condo.com

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Sat, 29 Aug 2015 09:28:24 -0000

    Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!
    Fat Diminisher System Review

    Reply to This
    adultlink
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    adultlinkTue, 25 Aug 2015 15:02:10 -0000

    review product Learn and Share New and Healthy Stuff on Internet , How to , Make money Online, Wordpress,Android Mobile Apps Review ,Health and more Interesting Topics. Please visit http://bukge.com/ …

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    mena99260
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    mena99260Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:38:07 -0000

    I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. mikeramsey

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    imtiiz
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    imtiizTue, 25 Aug 2015 09:58:51 -0000
    I have visited your site every day I should say you did a great job in every post you shared. Many of us were looking forward for it. I am hoping you would post more.MOT Wakefield

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:04:04 -0000

    Wow what a Great Information about World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post. alcoholism treatment options

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    sirking79
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    sirking79Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:25:28 -0000

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.
    this site

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Thu, 27 Aug 2015 06:01:58 -0000

    I've been searching for some decent stuff on the subject and haven't had any luck up until this point, You just got a new biggest fan!..
    ?? ???

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Tue, 25 Aug 2015 05:53:17 -0000

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me. refresh car air freshener

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    khatri58
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    khatri58Mon, 24 Aug 2015 16:06:44 -0000

    Votre relation sentimentale bat de l'aile, votre couple semble prendre une mauvaise pente et vous vous inquiétez pour ce que vous réserve l'avenir ?

    Vos interrogations peuvent trouver des réponses lors d'une voyance par téléphone amour au 0892 22 20 33. L'amour est le plus beau sentiment qui soit, il est important de le protéger. La voyance le permet, car elle fait disparaître le doute, dissipe les incertitudes. Elle ramène la confiance, qui est l'ingrédient clé d'une relation amoureuse épanouie.

    Tarot, oracle et astrologie sont à votre service pour vous aider et vous guider afin de préserver votre couple et faire en sorte que votre histoire ensemble puisse continuer sous les meilleurs auspices.
    Votre voyance par téléphone amour vous attend donc quand vous le désirez, 24h sur 24 au 0892 22 20 33.voyance carte

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    nedved1000
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    nedved1000Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:46:44 -0000

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    mena99260
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    mena99260Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:03:19 -0000

    We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up… Obsession Phrases PDF

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:15:22 -0000

    Excellent .. Amazing .. I'll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I'm happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.
    1800titleloan.net

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:48:53 -0000

    Interesting and amazing how your post is! It Is Useful and helpful for me That I like it very much, and I am looking forward to Hearing from your next.. I found it

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:32:33 -0000

    Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.
    Text Psychic

    Reply to This
    imtiiz
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    imtiizMon, 24 Aug 2015 08:43:27 -0000
    I truly value the sort of themes you post here. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing data that is really useful. Keep it! Salvation Diet Free Download

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    sirking79
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    sirking79Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:19:33 -0000

    nice bLog! its interesting. thank you for sharing….
    find out more

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Tue, 25 Aug 2015 07:10:18 -0000

    I haven't any word to appreciate this post…..Really i am impressed from this post….the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.
    Reserveringssysteem software

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:15:43 -0000

    Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging..
    amasuite review

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Mon, 24 Aug 2015 07:54:19 -0000

    I enjoy bookmarked it furthermore I am looking before to lesson pristine story's. Observe up the excellent process! homepage

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    sirking79
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    sirking79Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:44:14 -0000

    Post Comments

    japancomp234
    Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    japancomp234Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:16:42 -0000

    This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I'm definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works.
    skype resolver

    Reply to This
    imtiiz
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    imtiizSun, 23 Aug 2015 12:25:27 -0000

    Wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by Google, learned a lot, now i 'm a bit clear. I've bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.como conseguir dinero en gta 5

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Sun, 23 Aug 2015 09:21:21 -0000

    I don't make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post! movers in orange county

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    mena99260
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    mena99260Sun, 23 Aug 2015 08:26:08 -0000

    I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best article that I've read yet…. Salvation Diet Free Download

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    imtiiz
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    imtiizSun, 23 Aug 2015 08:17:23 -0000
    I have visited your site every day I should say you did a great job in every post you shared. Many of us were looking forward for it. I am hoping you would post more. Emotional Hook

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    BlackMen
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    BlackMenSun, 23 Aug 2015 07:32:35 -0000

    These are two opposites - so you could say the word oxymoron is an oxymoron!E-factor diet

    Post Comments

    Reply to This
    lofer420
    Vote
    Current Rating
    1
    Rate Up
    Rate Down
    lofer420Sun, 23 Aug 2015 06:06:40 -0000

    i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future.. moissanite necklace

    Post Comments

    Reply to This

Your Comment

Avatar
Vote
Current Rating
0
Rate Up
Rate Down
Have an account? Log In

Textile is Enabled. View Reference.
Lead_arrow_side

About the Author

lucyinthesky
Name:
About:

Last Updated At Dec 07, 2012
3417 Views

608 Comments

Similar Articles

More Lessons