Oxymoron: Definition, Meaning and Examples of Oxymoron



Oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two contradictory words are juxtaposed for a striking effect.
The oxymoron is generally described as the extreme form of epigram. When the brevity of an epigrammatic utterance is carried to the extreme point, and two contradictory words are juxtaposed, or placed side by side, the figure is called the oxymoron.


  1.  I have a plentiful lack of money. Here the two contradictory words ‘plentiful’ and ‘lack’  are placing side by side. The sentence here becomes an instance of an oxymoron. It shows the juxtaposition of contradictory words.
  2.  This is the effect of a senseless sense. Here the two contradictory words ‘senseless’ and ‘sense’ are placed together to achieve impressiveness.
  3. Life is bitter sweet. Here two contradictory words are juxtaposed to create a striking effect.
  4. And all its aching joys are now no more. -Wordsworth
    This is an oxymoron. This figure consists of the juxtaposition of contradictory terms to have a striking effect.
  5. And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true. – Tennyson
    Here the contradictory words ‘faith’ and ‘unfaithful’ and ‘falsely’ and ‘true’ are juxtaposed.
  6. Do that good mischief. -Shakespeare
    Here two contradictory words ‘good’ and ‘mischief’ are juxtaposed to create a striking effect.

Also read; Synecdoche: Definition, Types and examples

Also read: Asyndeton and Polysyndeton: Definition, Examples and their Importance