In this post, we talk about the meaning of oxymorons and give you 33 examples, including oxymorons in sentences.
What Are Oxymorons?
An oxymoron is “a phrase that combines two words that seem to be the opposite of each other, for example a ‘deafening silence’.” (Oxford Dictionaries)
An oxymoron is a compressed paradox. It is a figure of speech where a writer combines seemingly contradictory terms. You may have noticed that I used one in this blog post title.
33 Perfectly Odd Oxymorons
10 Common Oxymorons
- Poor health
- Small crowd
The common oxymoron phrase is a combination of an adjective followed by a noun with contrasting meanings. We use oxymorons because they make effective titles in literature or film, and add dramatic effect, for example, Dead Man Walking, Mr. Mom, and True Lies.
They add flavour to speech and can also be cynical, sarcastic, or witty and used for comic effect or relief.
13 Amusing Oxymorons
You will recognise these 13 examples of amusing oxymorons:
Weapons of peace
The word oxymoron comes from the Greek for pointedly foolish: ‘oxys’ means sharp or keen and ‘moros’ means foolish.
10 More In A Paragraph
Richard Watson Todd shows us how easily we accept oxymorons as part of everyday speech in this paragraph from Much Ado about English. There are 10 examples in this paragraph:
‘It was an open secret that the company had used a paid volunteer to test the plastic glasses. Although they were made using liquid gas technology and were an original copy that looked almost exactly like a more expensive brand, the volunteer thought that they were pretty ugly and that it would be simply impossible for the general public to accept them. On hearing this feedback, the company board was clearly confused and there was a deafening silence. This was a minor crisis and the only choice was to drop the product line.’
If you enjoyed this, read these posts:
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- Grammar For Beginners: All About Parts Of Speech
- Can I? May I?
- All About Prefixes
- 27 Blogging Tips To Grow Your Business
- 5 Fool Proof Ways To Write Better Emails
[Top Tip: If you need practical help with your grammar, buy The Complete Grammar Workbook.]