• A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in <em>a deafening silence</em> and <em>a mournful optimist.</em>
  • In <em>rhetoric</em>, a figure consisting in adding to a word an epithet or qualification apparently contradictory; in general, close connection of two words seemingly opposed to each other (as, <em>cruel kindness</em>; to make <em>haste slowly</em>); an expression made epigrammatic or pointed by seeming self-contradictory.
  • A figure in which an epithet of a contrary signification is added to a word; e. g., <ex>cruel kindness</ex>; <ex>laborious idleness</ex>.
  • A <xref>figure of speech</xref> in which two words with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect.
  • A <xref>contradiction in terms</xref>.
  • conjoining contradictory terms (as in `deafening silence')
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