Last modified on 28 May 2015, at 22:56

oxymoron

See also: Oxymoron and oxymóron

EnglishEdit

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Wikipedia

EtymologyEdit

First attested in the 17th century, noun use of 5th century Latin oxymōrum (adj), neut. nom. form of oxymōrus (adj),[1] from Ancient Greek ὀξύμωρος (oksúmōros), compound of ὀξύς (oksús, sharp, keen, pointed)[2] (English oxy-, as in oxygen) + μωρός (mōrós, dull, stupid, folly)[3] (English moron (stupid person)). Literally “sharp-dull”, "keen-stupid" or "pointed folly"[4] – itself an oxymoron, hence autological; compare sophomore (literally wise fool), influenced by similar analysis. The compound form ὀξύμωρον (oksúmōron) is not found in the extant Ancient Greek sources.[5]

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɒksɪˈmɔːɹɒn/
  • (US) enPR: äk-sē-môrʹ-än, äk-sĭ-môrʹ-än, IPA(key): /ˌɑksiˈmɔɹɑn/, /ɑksɪˈmɔɹɑn/
  • (file)

NounEdit

oxymoron (plural oxymorons or oxymora)

  1. A figure of speech in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect.
  2. (general) A contradiction in terms.

Usage notesEdit

  • Historically, an oxymoron was "a paradox with a point",[6] where the contradiction seems absurd at first glance, and yet is deliberate, its purpose being to underscore a point or to draw attention to a concealed point. The modern usage of oxymoron as a synonym for the simpler contradiction in terms is considered incorrect by some speakers and writers, and is perhaps best avoided in certain contexts.[1][4] (See also the Wikipedia article.)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 oxymōrus” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.
  2. ^ ὀξύς in A Greek–English Lexicon by Liddell & Scott, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940
  3. ^ μωρός in A Greek–English Lexicon by Liddell & Scott, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940
  4. 4.0 4.1 ὀξύμωρος in A Greek–English Lexicon by Liddell & Scott, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1940
  5. ^ OED: [1]
  6. ^ Jebb, Sir Richard (1900). Sophocles: The Plays and Fragments, with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose. Part III: The Antigone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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