Oxymorons (Oxymora)

An oxymoron (plural oxymorons or oxymora) is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Oxymorons appear in a multitude of locations, including literature, film, and through inadvertent means.

Oxymoron Examples

Oxymorons are most commonly found in adjective-noun pairs, such as:

  • Dark light
  • Living dead
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Guest host
  • Good dictator
  • Silent sound

Oxymorons are also found in noun-verb pairs, such as, “the silence speaks.” Many oxymorons have become popular in colloquial speech, they are cliches almost. Some examples include:

  • Controlled chaos
  • Bitter sweet (sometimes written as one word)
  • Deafening silence
  • Forward retreat
  • Irregular pattern
  • Serious joke
  • Sweet sorrow


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