Oxymoron is a word formed from the Greek words ὀξύς (oksus), “sharp, pointed, keen,” and μωρός (moros), “dull, stupid, foolish.” An oxymoron is a contradiction in terms. Even the word is a contradiction in terms (i.e. “sharp dull”).
We mostly think in terms of comical oxymorons, such as
- jumbo shrimp
- educational television
- military intelligence
- business ethics
- civil war
- happily married
- Microsoft Works
- tall shortstop
The term sophomore (used to denote the second year of high school or college in the US) is an oxymoron, (sophos, “smart” + moros, “stupid”).
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is full of them: “brawling love,” “loving hate,” “heavy lightness” etc.
I’m sure that you can think of a few more…