Able to learn among the greatest oxymoron examples on the market?

Wish to rework lifeless speeches, scripts, poems, conditions, dialogue, or settings, so they arrive alive within the thoughts of your readers and listeners?

Then you definitely’ve come to the correct place.

Oxymorons are one of many “seasonings” in nice writing. Sprinkle in just a few to evoke fun, a way of marvel, drama, playfulness, and extra.

And immediately, you’ll see precisely how this flavorful figurative language helps fold extra aptitude and enjoyable into any sentence you write.

Right here’s what we’ll discover:

  • The definition of an oxymoron.
  • The aim of an oxymoron.
  • The way it differs from paradox, irony, and juxtaposition.
  • 67 oxymorons to make your writing sparkle.


Let’s get began.

Oxymoron Definition?

An oxymoron is a determine of speech wherein contradictory phrases are put collectively in an surprising method. 

Enjoyable Reality: Oxymoron comes from the Greek phrase oksús (which means “eager”) and mōros (which means “silly”). The phrase oxymoron is kind of actually an oxymoron!

Writers have used them for hundreds of years as a literary system to explain life’s oddities, conflicts, incongruities, heartbreak, and craziness. Whether or not in writing or speech, utilizing phrases with oxymoronic which means can lend a humorousness, irony, or sarcasm

Oxymorons aren’t distinctive to the English language, both.

Actually, they’re fairly widespread in on a regular basis speech throughout a number of languages, with new ones surfacing on a regular basis — typically with humorous outcomes 

The German word for "glove" - "Handschuh" - literally means "hand shoe."

The pairing of contradictory phrases grabs consideration, generates shock, and creates an impression. Additionally, mastering the oxymoron is a sublime option to weave intelligent wordplay into your inventive writing.

An oxymoron generally is a phrase or phrase in one in every of these codecs: 

  • Single-Phrase and Compound Phrase: Bittersweet, frenemy (good friend+enemy), love-hate.
  • Adjective + Noun: Candy sorrow (made well-known by William Shakespeare), deliberate mistake.
  • Adverb + Adjective/Adverb: Alone collectively (well-liked in the course of the COVID pandemic), critically humorous.
  • Freeform: Kill with kindness, new and improved.

Oxymoron vs. Juxtaposition

Oxymorons and juxtapositions are intently associated literary phrases.

Juxtaposition is about inserting two issues facet by facet to deliver out their variations; it’s about evaluating conditions, concepts, feelings, characters, settings, and occasions.  

An important instance is the film, “Legally Blonde,” starring Reese Witherspoon. 

She decides to go to Harvard Regulation Faculty as a result of she needs to win her boyfriend again. However she doesn’t have a look at all like the standard regulation scholar together with her pink garments, her Chihuahua, Bruiser, who goes together with her in all places in her tote bag, and her shiny orange MacBook standing out in opposition to all the grey and silver laptops within the classroom.

An oxymoron is a sort of juxtaposition, simply shorter and centered on two contradictory ideas. For instance, “sorority lady lawyer” is perhaps an oxymoron that summarizes the plot of “Legally Blond”.

Oxymoron vs. Paradox

Oxymoron: "Jumbo Shrimp" vs Paradox "This statement is false"

Paradox is one other literary system wherein a press release options initially contrasting concepts. Nevertheless, with utilized thought, paradoxes make sense. Additionally, they typically lead the reader to an underlying reality. 

Oxymoron is taken into account a “condensed” paradox. Oxymoron phrases could be figuratively true however not actually true. 

Each are contradictions, however the huge distinction between oxymoron and paradox is {that a} paradox is one thing you concentrate on. In distinction, an oxymoron is an outline that’s loved within the second after which forgotten because the reader or listener strikes on.

67 Oxymoron Examples

There are lots of nice oxymorons on the market, and extra are found and invented day by day. Listed below are 67 examples that we predict you’ll love.

Instance of Oxymorons in Pop Tradition

the movie poster for the film "True Lies"

Fashionable popular culture works onerous to draw the eye of the focused viewer or reader in immediately’s flood of promoting. And since oxymorons provoke curiosity and curiosity, they make nice titles for books, films, and tv. 

Film titles

  • “True Lies”
  • “You Solely Stay Twice
  • “Eyes Huge Shut”
  • “Lifeless Man Strolling”
  • “Again to the Future”

Ebook titles

  • Sincere Illusions (Nora Roberts)
  • The Worst Greatest Man (Mia Sosa)
  • Huge, Little Lies (Liane Moriarity)
  • Sapiens: A Temporary Historical past of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari)
  • The Huge Brief (Michael Lewis)

Oxymoron Examples in Literature

A number of the longest-lasting oxymorons had been generated by Shakespeare in his performs and are nonetheless extensively used immediately. 

However Shakespeare isn’t the one oxymoron guru.

Actually, many fashionable authors are arising with their very own as nicely, for instance:

  • Candy sorrow (Shakespeare, 1597)
  • Misshapen chaos (Shakespeare…once more)
  • Horrible magnificence (William Butler Yeats, 1916)
  • Deafening silence (Origin unknown, first seen in print 1830)
  • Merciless kindness (Supply unknown; to be “merciless to be form” first in Hamlet c. 1601) 
  • Falsely true (Tennyson, 1862) 
  • Melancholy merriment (Byron, 1819)
  • Scalding coolness (Hemingway, 1940)
  • Horrible magnificence (Yeats, 1916) 
  • Hear loudly (David Nour, 2017): Nour invented this oxymoronic phrase.  It drives dwelling the purpose of growing an intense stage of listening to clients, staff, and others.

Oxymoron Quotes & Sayings

Yogi Berra Quote: When you come to a fork in the road, take it"

These examples may aid you use oxymorons to good impact in your writing

  • “And the place did this insane notion of shopping for loyalty come from? It’s a contradiction in phrases.”- Steven Erikson, Mud of Goals
  • When my boyfriend gave me a particular perhaps about going out this Friday night time, that was the final straw.
  • As our staff gathered for the employees assembly, the boss was conspicuously absent.
  • James Bond approached the attractive ladies he encountered in each project with cool ardour.
  • The politician gave his deceptively sincere opinion.
  • Attempting to place a constructive spin on the corporate’s monetary standing, the CFO talked concerning the damaging progress in final quarter’s income.
  • Now that many staff have proven excessive productiveness working away from the workplace, will their bosses now count on them to take working holidays?
  • The cop-show investigator’s well-chosen use of eloquent silence all the time received the dangerous man to admit.

Oxymoron Use in Songs

the album "The Sounds of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkle

A music’s wonderful melody might make it a fan-favorite. Add an awesome title, like an oxymoron that represents the poetry of the lyrics, and you’ve got a music that’s a beloved traditional for years to return. 


  • “A Exhausting Day’s Evening” (Beatles)
  • “Sounds of Silence” (Simon and Garfunkel)
  • “Hiya I Should Be Going” (Phil Collins)
  • “Particular Perhaps” (Kinks)
  • “Chilly Hearth” (Rush)


  • “New, old style method” from “Rockin’ Across the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee
  • “Your eyes whispered have we met” from “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift
  • “I solely wanna die alive” from “Break Free” by Ariana Grande
  • “Now my empty cup tastes as candy because the punch” from “Alongside Comes Mary” by the Affiliation
  • “When it’s chilly exterior, I’ve received the month of Might” from “My Lady” by the Temptations

Oxymoron Examples in On a regular basis Expressions

Many oxymorons have change into a part of our day by day language to the purpose the place they now make sense and appear regular. They title issues we all know are contradictory however nonetheless apply at work, at dwelling, in households, and in society.

  • Working trip
  • Digital actuality
  • Alone collectively
  • Unbiased opinion
  • Minor miracle
  • Superior newbie
  • Pleasant fireplace
  • Plastic silverware
  • Managed chaos
  • Authentic copy
  • Solely alternative
  • Act naturally
  • Outdated information
  • Approximate answer
  • Fashionable historical past
  • Close to miss
  • Free commerce
  • Minor disaster
  • Clear dust
  • Small crowd
  • Silent scream

Humorous Oxymorons

a digital speedometer with the phrase "brake to start" in the display
(Supply: Jim Martley, JGM2 Pictures)

Humorous oxymorons typically come from sarcastic or cynical contradictions. When used nicely, your reader or listener will at the least smile if not chuckle out loud. 

  • Microsoft Works
  • Authorities group
  • Short-term tax enhance
  • Twelve-ounce pound cake
  • Categorical mail
  • Marital bliss
  • Airline meals
  • Peacekeeper missile
  • Soup sandwich
  • Civil warfare
  • Bureaucratic effectivity
  • Residing lifeless

Why Use Oxymorons?

Oxymorons are an effective way to evoke emotion, reveal a paradox, confuse the reader, or add humor to your writing.  They’re a flexible instrument that units your work aside out of your competitors and makes it extra pleasant and memorable by:

  • Including dramatic impact. “Deliberate mistake” implies a not-so-good, perhaps even evil intent, creating a sense of dread or foreboding.
  • Making a playful tone. “Real imitation” hints at shopping for a vogue model knockoff merchandise while you assume it’s the actual factor.
  • Revealing a deeper which means. “Bittersweet” has lengthy represented the idea that happiness and disappointment could be current on the identical time, akin to when a toddler goes off to school.
  • Including irony. Irony is when what exhibits on the floor or is predicted differs radically from what is definitely the case. Oxymorons can succinctly categorical irony, like “airline schedule” does when airways generally have a poor file of on-time flights. 
  • Displaying character. Names of characters (“Little Joe” as a reputation for an enormous man) or locations (Prairie Lighthouse, Nebraska) additionally supply alternatives so as to add depth and distinction in a succinct method.

Awfully Good Oxymoron Examples for Your Writing

That’s over 5 dozen oxymoron examples in a number of completely different codecs to encourage contemporary methods to hook your readers and hold their curiosity. 

As nice an inventory as this is perhaps, simply studying this put up and transferring on received’t make the oxymoron magic occur in your writing

Bookmark this put up. 

Make a degree of coming again to it in your enhancing course of, taking the time to search out the place your writing slumps and will use a kick within the phrasing.

Use the above examples the place they match or as fashions for creating your personal distinctive oxymorons. 

This can repay handsomely. 

Your writing will join along with your readers’ feelings, you’ll hold their consideration right through, and so they’ll come to the top wishing there was extra.

The put up 67 Stupidly Good (& Critically Enjoyable) Oxymoron Examples appeared first on Good Blogger.


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