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Definition of "oxymoron" []

  • A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist. (noun)
  • An epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Use "oxymoron" in a sentence
  • "You spend 50 bucks for a tank of gas just to go hunt and you miss that big one, so how oxymoron is that!"
  • "'Early on' petroleum was unrestricted -- a social-positioning free-for-all including crimes such as fraud and violence such as homicide, and all of it called, (in oxymoron disguise) a 'free market.'"
  • "Indeed, our little national anthem has inspired VANOC CEO John Furlong to apply for the intellectual property rights to this refrain, a rather strange oxymoron from a man who stood on the shoulders of giants to rip off the official song representing 33 million souls:"