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Oxymoron : Definition & Meaning

Grade 7
Aug 29, 2022


What is an Oxymoron? 

A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. 


Awfully good 


Open secret 


Purpose of Oxymorons: 

They can enhance writing and communication in a variety of ways, including by adding dramatic effect. 

Dramatic Effect: 

Saying that a picture or a scene is “painfully beautiful” calls attention to the speaker and the object of enquiry. Such a phrase shows that an object can have two different qualities at once, making it a subject for study and analysis. 

Adding Flavor to Speech 

When someone says a phrase such as “clearly confused,” the speaker is finding a new way to describe that individual or object. 

For Entertainment 

Sometimes people aren’t trying to make a profound statement when they use oxymorons. Instead, they want to be witty and show they can use words to make people laugh. One example of this is when  Oscar Wilde  comically reflected on the fact that he “can resist anything, except temptation.” 


  1. Small crowd 

A small number of people gathered together. 

  1. Silent scream 

The quivering girl let out a silent scream when the hooded figure lunged at the unsuspecting victim and thrust a knife into his chest. 

  1. Eloquent silence: 

The teacher stood in eloquent silence, the class finally realized that he had no intention of going on until someone ventured a guess. 

  1. Strangely familiar: 

I could not recall ever having seen the man before, yet there was something about him that was strangely familiar. 

  1. Organized chaos: 

Upon observing their practice sessions, we got the impression of organized chaos as the students moved around and worked in teams. 

  1. Intentional accident: 

After an investigation revealed that the automobile crash was an intentional accident, the insurance company denied the policy holder’s claim for the loss of his left leg. 

  1. Unbiased opinion: 

The expert witness is expected to give an impartial unbiased opinion on matters within his or her expertise. 

  1. Intense apathy: 

The intense apathy towards the city’s destitute is appalling. 

  1. Abundant poverty: 

The lack of education, widespread unemployment and abundant poverty have turned the country into a target for human trafficking. 

  1. Work vacation: 

His trip to Bali was a work vacation. 

  1. Work-study program: 

The work-study program is a popular option among the students as it allows them to work part-time to finance their education as well as study. 

Some other examples for Oxymoron are, 

  • Civil war 
  • Crash landing 
  • Found missing 
  • Devout atheist 
  • Even odds 
  • Genuine imitation 
  • Intense apathy 
  • Joyful sadness 
  • Loud whisper 
  • Living dead 
  • Only choice 
  • Pretty ugly 
  • Steel wool 
  • Terribly good 

Frequently asked questions 

1. What is an Oxymoron? 

Ans: Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. 

2. Is original copy an Oxymoron? 

Ans: Yes, original copy is an example for oxymoron. 

3. Give some examples with oxymoron? 

Ans: Only choice – Your only choice is to work or go to school. Original copy – I’ll attach the original copy of the report here. 

4. Mention some oxymoron references from Classic culture? 

Ans: falsely true, lascivious grace, liquid marble, melancholy merriment. 


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