oxymoron was our Word of the Day on 12/18/2014. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of oxymoron in a Sentence
- The phrase "Broadway rock musical" is an oxymoron. Broadway doesn't have the nerve to let the really hard stuff in the house. —Mark Coleman, Rolling Stone, 26 Dec. 1996/ 9 Jan. 1997
- Taken to its logical conclusion, this emphasis on the fragmentation of the body politic makes postmodern feminism an oxymoron: feminism and virtually all our laws against sex discrimination reflect the presumption that women do in fact constitute a political category. —Wendy Kaminer, Atlantic, October 1993
- He calls himself a "bleeding-heart conservative," and that oxymoron sums up the unique [Jack F.] Kemp role in the Bush Administration: the apostle of free enterprise who is the ambassador to the poor. —William Safire, New York Times Magazine, 25 Mar. 1990
- As the war went on, "precision bombing" became a comical oxymoron relished by bomber crews with a sense of black humor. —Paul Fussell, Wartime, 1989
The phrase “cruel kindness” is an oxymoron.
Recent Examples of oxymoron from the Web
Most of the draft experts (the ultimate oxymoron) will tell you there is not a surefire superstar in this year’s draft and there’s not all that much difference between the first and sixth pick.
Until now, that concept was an oxymoron, since 3-D printing has been used mainly for prototyping and customized parts.
Minute Earth explains: At first, a solar panel window might seem like an oxymoron.
Halloween Cupcakes These Halloween cupcakes are definitely for the more advanced beginners (that's an oxymoron, folks).
Bengals marketing’’ has traditionally been an oxymoron.
An affordable sports car almost sounds like an oxymoron, like fast traffic or entry-level luxury.
The bureaucracy of wildlife management is part oxymoron, part paradox.
Still, a career in fashion sounded like an oxymoron back then.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oxymoron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Greeks exhaustively classified the elements of rhetoric, or effective speech and writing, and gave the name oxymoron, literally "pointed foolishness," to the deliberate juxtaposing of seemingly contradictory words. The roots of oxymoron - oxys, meaning "sharp" or "keen," and moros, meaning "foolish" - are nearly antonyms themselves, making oxymoron nicely self-descriptive. Oxymoron originally applied to a meaningful paradox condensed into a couple of words, as in "precious bane," "lonely crowd," or "sweet sorrow." Today, however, oxymoron can also refer to unintentional contradictions, like "a plastic glass."
Origin and Etymology of oxymoron
First Known Use: 1657See Words from the same year
OXYMORON Defined for English Language Learners
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up oxymoron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).