Huge List of Oxymorons

Huge List of Oxymorons

An oxymoron is a consecutive set of words that have contradictory meanings. In many cases they are obvious. However, as there are so many, you might not catch them all. Take a look at which ones you have used in conversation:

One Word Oxymorons

  • anyone
  • audiovisual
  • backside
  • ballpoint
  • barnyard
  • basketball
  • bedrock
  • begone
  • bittersweet
  • blindsight
  • bridegroom
  • butthead
  • checkpoint
  • courtroom
  • cowboy
  • deadbeat
  • deadbolt
  • earthstar
  • everyone
  • extraordinary
  • fail-safe
  • featherweight
  • firewater
  • freeload
  • fruitcake
  • getaway
  • godson
  • highland
  • hometown
  • homework
  • houseboat
  • ill-humor
  • ironwood
  • kickstand
  • kingpin
  • knothole
  • know-how
  • laboratory (Labor-a-Tory)
  • lay-up
  • lend-lease
  • lightweight
  • lonesome
  • man-child
  • monopoly
  • mythological
  • nevermore
  • nightlight
  • nook (no-ok)
  • offset
  • outcome
  • Oxymoron
  • penknife
  • pianoforte
  • preposterous
  • roadblock
  • rootcap
  • seashore
  • sleepwalk
  • soapstone
  • someone
  • sophomore
  • speechwriting
  • spendthrift
  • spitfire
  • storehouse
  • strawberry
  • sunshade
  • supernatural
  • toecap
  • typewrite
  • warlord
  • watercolor
  • weekday
  • whenever
  • wholesome

Two Word Oxymorons

  • act natural
  • action plan
  • additional reduction
  • adult children
  • all alone
  • almost exactly
  • Alone together
  • altogether separate
  • another one
  • anxious patient
  • apparently invisible
  • assistant principal
  • assisted suicide
  • athletic scholarship
  • Audience viewing
  • awfully good
  • baby grand
  • bad goods
  • backdoor front
  • ball club
  • ball diamond
  • bar entrance
  • barely dressed
  • basic acid
  • bed canopy
  • behave badly
  • benevolent despot
  • benign neglect
  • big baby
  • black light
  • blind spot
  • blue blood
  • boxing ring
  • brief longing
  • bring away
  • building wrecking
  • bus station
  • calm breeze
  • can’t can
  • cardinal sin
  • cheap jewelry
  • cherry tomato
  • citizen soldier
  • civil war
  • class clown
  • classic novel
  • clean dirt
  • clearly confused
  • climb down
  • cold sweat
  • come away
  • conspicuous absence
  • constant change
  • constructive criticism
  • conventional wisdom
  • cost savings
  • crack fix
  • crash landing
  • crazy sound
  • criminal justice
  • critical praise
  • crowded room
  • cruel joke
  • cute dog
  • damaged goods
  • dark spot (i.e., spotlight)
  • deafening silence
  • death benefits
  • defensive attack
  • definite possibility
  • deliberate mistake
  • devilishly good
  • diamond ring
  • disaster relief
  • divorce court
  • doing nothing
  • don’t do
  • dotted line
  • double solitaire
  • down escalator
  • drag race
  • dress pants
  • driving stance (in golf)
  • dry martini
  • dull roar
  • easy task
  • earth angel
  • elevated subway
  • emotional reasoning
  • empty lots
  • escaped prisoner
  • essentially useless
  • even odds
  • executive secretary
  • extensive briefing
  • extinct life
  • fairly dark
  • fairly nasty
  • far closer
  • farewell reception
  • fast food
  • fast idle
  • faulty logic
  • faulty sound (e.g. hissing)
  • feeling numb
  • few more, a
  • final draft
  • finally begun
  • find missing
  • fine mess
  • firm handshake
  • fish farm
  • fix breakfast
  • flat busted
  • flexible freeze
  • flood control
  • flying boat
  • forced choice
  • forgotten memories
  • foreign national
  • forward lateral
  • free press
  • free trade
  • free will
  • freezer burn
  • fresh frozen
  • front end
  • funny business
  • fuzzy logic
  • gentleman bandit
  • genuine imitation
  • get taken
  • global village
  • good grief
  • graduate student
  • graphic language
  • great lack (of)
  • green orange
  • ground up
  • growing smaller
  • guest host
  • half empty
  • hard plastic
  • hard water
  • hardly easy
  • head butt
  • high ground
  • highly depressed
  • historical fiction
  • holy war
  • home office
  • homeless shelter
  • hopelessly optimistic
  • horror comics
  • hot ice
  • human nature
  • ice water
  • idiot savant
  • idle gossip
  • idle work
  • ill health
  • income tax
  • increasing losses
  • incredibly real
  • industrial park
  • infinite in number
  • initial results
  • inside out
  • invisible ink
  • irate patient
  • jet lag
  • job hunting
  • juice bar
  • jumbo shrimp
  • jump seat
  • jungle gym
  • lame effort
  • large minority
  • largely inconsequential
  • larger half
  • lead balloon
  • lean pork
  • least favorite
  • legal brief
  • left rights (e.g. to protest)
  • leisure industry
  • light shade
  • liquid crystal
  • little more
  • little lot (real estate)
  • live recording
  • living fossil
  • local celebrity
  • long briefs
  • loose tights
  • loosely packed
  • loss leader
  • loyal opposition
  • major general
  • mandatory option
  • middle initial
  • mighty weak
  • mild enthusiasm
  • minor disaster
  • missing here
  • mobile home
  • modern history
  • morbid humor
  • mud bath
  • multiple dividends
  • muted sound
  • mutually exclusive
  • narrow range
  • nasty fine
  • natural actor
  • nature preserve
  • needless requirement
  • negative growth
  • neutral color
  • never again
  • never ever
  • new age
  • new tradition
  • non-dairy creamer
  • non-working mother
  • none other
  • normal deviation
  • nothing much
  • now then
  • numb feeling
  • number one
  • objective opinion
  • obstructed view
  • occupied space
  • odd evening
  • oddly familiar
  • old boy
  • old news
  • once again
  • one another
  • one pair
  • one-man band
  • only choice
  • open bar
  • open circuit
  • open house
  • open secret
  • ordinary event
  • original copy
  • outer core
  • paid volunteer
  • paper tablecloth
  • park drive
  • partially completed
  • passive resistance
  • peace offensive
  • permanent change
  • personal business
  • petty officer
  • plastic glass
  • Play dead
  • plea bargain
  • political party
  • positively eutral
  • practical joke
  • press release
  • pretty ugly
  • primary conclusion
  • primitive technology
  • private citizen
  • progressively worse
  • public privy
  • qualitative data
  • quantum leap
  • questionable answer
  • quiet rage
  • quite unlikely
  • raised sink
  • random order
  • real potential
  • reality show
  • really fake
  • recorded live
  • regular specials
  • relative stranger
  • religious tolerance
  • required elective
  • resident alien
  • restless sleep
  • retired worker
  • riot control
  • rising deficit
  • rock garden
  • rolling stop
  • round flat (i.e. apartment)
  • rough finish
  • rubber cement
  • sad clown
  • safety hazard
  • same difference
  • sanitary sewer
  • scale down
  • scented deodorant
  • science fiction
  • second best
  • serious play (e.g. Hamlet)
  • set off
  • ship’s hold
  • shock therapy
  • shoot blanks
  • sight unseen
  • short distance
  • silent alarm
  • simply brilliant
  • sit up
  • skinny broad
  • slave wages
  • sleep walk
  • slow speed
  • slumber party
  • small army
  • small wonder
  • soft rock
  • solid line
  • solo concert
  • some more
  • sound asleep
  • spectator sport
  • spoiled goods
  • sports scholarship
  • square beads
  • stand down
  • stands seating (i.e. bleachers)
  • steady vibration
  • stealth bomber
  • still life
  • still shaking
  • stop action
  • store display
  • straight listing
  • strange friend
  • strangely familiar
  • strawberry blond
  • student teacher
  • studio apartment
  • sugarless candy
  • sure bet
  • sweet pickle
  • sweet tart
  • synthetic natural gas
  • talk show
  • talking pictures
  • taped live
  • tax return
  • terribly nice
  • thick film
  • tick tock
  • tight slacks
  • tip toe
  • toll free
  • top floor
  • tough love
  • tragic comedy
  • travel lodge
  • travel stop
  • true story
  • truly false
  • turkey ham
  • unacceptable solution
  • unbiased opinion
  • uncontested race
  • uncrowned king
  • uninvited guest
  • unknown identity
  • unsung hero
  • unusual routine
  • utter silence
  • vacuum filled
  • very little
  • virtual reality
  • war games
  • watch noise
  • water vapor
  • well-known secret
  • white chocolate
  • winged feet
  • wooden nickel
  • work party
  • working vacation
  • young adult

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