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Rhetoric an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction



a stylistic device combining contradictory words to form a new semantic entity, for example, “sorrowful joy” (S. A. Esenin). The oxymoron makes literary language more meaningful and intensifies its emotional impact by disclosing the unity of opposites and of life’s seeming contradictions [examples of oxymoron in italics]:

See how she’s rejoiced in sorrow,

So elegantly bared.


We love everything—the ardor of cold numbers,

And the gift of divine visions.


The oxymoron can be a type of literary paradox.

References in periodicals archive ?
On balance I think that Clinton's rollout, an oxymoronic wonder of planned spontaneity and engineered authenticity, was successful if unsubtle.
Infra Red is described as 'an oxymoronic IPA' in that it is not a pale ale in any sense of the word but a highly hopped red ale.
The fact is that tax fairness and tax simplicity are mutually exclusive when it comes to a tax code, and to use them together is oxymoronic.
Dubai has just experienced four successive quarters of oxymoronic, horizontal growth, which CBRE interpret as an indication of more of the same without the threat
Even describing Hain, now a grandfather, as the South African-born Neath MP, points to the oxymoronic nature of his life and his career.
However, change is afoot and there is a movement to make the phrase "corporate social responsibility" into more than an oxymoronic greenwashing tool.
"The oxymoronic term 'jobless recovery' is an insult to those who have been laid off."
The only thing that confused me about this movie is that it's set up as a comedy/drama, which an oxymoronic description to say the least.
YOUR correspondent Alan Wright (Voice of the North, September 8) persists in referring to a "legitimate progressive coalition Government", a phrase which my old English teacher would have labelled oxymoronic.
And if it all seems like too much fun - we know how oxymoronic that is - there are some highly educational and downright do-gooder opportunities.
of Portsmouth, UK), was characterized to such an extent by anxieties about modernity and modernization that it almost becomes an oxymoronic label.
But there has been too little attention paid to the United States military's mobilization for this war, which is often described by the oxymoronic phrase "information operations." To populate this information "battle space.