1657, from Gk. oxymoron,
noun use of neut. of oxymoros
(adj.) "pointedly foolish," from oxys
"sharp" (see acrid
) + moros
"stupid." Rhetorical figure by which contradictory terms are conjoined so as to give point to the statement or expression; the word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean "contradiction in terms."