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What is the word for a contradiction in terms?
A phrase that is a contradiction in terms is an oxymoron. Examples of oxymorons are: bittersweet, boneless ribs, deafening silence, half naked, holy war, and jumbo shrimp. The most common form is adjective+noun. The word oxymoron comes from Greek oxymoros, 'pointedly foolish,' oxy-, 'sharp' + moros, 'dull, stupid, foolish'. By the way, the plurals of oxymoron are oxymora or oxymorons. An oxymoron is just one of many, many rhetorical devices in English.