Oxymoron Pronunciation: ahk-si-mo-ron
Meaning: A figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory words-ostensibly semantic opposites-are combined to create a rhetorical effect by paradoxical means, e.g. "a long brief" or "hot ice". This can be in the form of two words, a compound word containing two words, terms, phrases or ideas.
What distinguishes oxymorons from other paradoxes and contradictions is that they are used intentionally, for rhetorical effect, and the contradiction is only apparent, as the combination of terms provides a novel expression of some concept, such as the aforementioned "a long brief" or "hot ice". Therefore, oxymorons are not necessarily mistakes or errors.
The word 'Oxymoron' is originally derived from the Greek elements: oxy = sharp and moros (moron) = dull (foolish). Thus the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron.
Part of Speech: Noun. 'Oxymoron' is the singular form, and 'Oxymora' (or 'Oxymorons') is the plural form. The adjective for this word is oxymoronic and the adverb oxymoronically.
Some Oxymorons are not obvious, some may require an understanding of verbal or regional interpretations, and some may even indicate certain prejudices.