An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two or more words that contradict one another are used together. Oxymorons are very commonly used in poems or any literary work for that matter. Moreover, we do use oxymorons in our daily lives. When two contradictory phrases are placed in conjunction, it is also an oxymoron.
A figure of speech is a word or phrase that generally has a meaning that differs from its literal meaning but is used to emphasize or enhance the effectiveness of spoken and written language. Hence, an oxymoron is a figure of speech.
Oxymoron is one of the most fascinating figures of speech in the English language. Obviously, it is because of its characteristics. Consider the fact that you are placing two words or phrases that have completely opposite meanings to give rise to a term with a broader or a different meaning. This juxtaposition of two contradictory phrases or words adds a witty element to it and can make the language seriously funny (Here is an oxymoron for you). Still, if you are clearly confused (yet again), let us dive into some examples of oxymorons to understand this figure of speech better.
Examples of Oxymoron
- Original copy
- Bitter sweet
- Close distance
- Climb down
- Virtual reality
- Crash landing
Here is another extract from Romeo and Juliet where the great writer Shakespeare skillfully used oxymorons.
“O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!”