An oxymoron (plural oxymora or oxymorons) (from Greek ὀξύμωρον, "sharp dull") is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Oxymora appear in a variety of contexts, including inadvertent errors such as ground pilot and literary oxymorons crafted to reveal a paradox.
The most common form of oxymoron involves an adjective-noun combination of two words. For example, the following line from Tennyson's Idylls of the King contains two oxymora:
Other examples of oxymora of this kind are:
Guest host (also: Permanent guest host)
Less often seen are noun-verb combinations of two words, such as the line "The silence whistles" from Nathan Alterman's Summer Night, or in a record album title like Sounds of Silence.... Read more