Difference Between Paradox and Oxymoron


Main Difference

The main difference between Paradox and Oxymoron is that Paradox is a connection of statements, whereas Oxymoron is a connection of two opposite terms.

Paradox vs. Oxymoron

The paradox is a complete sentence; on the other hand, an oxymoron is the explanation of a statement that is opposite; it has a dramatic result on both its opposite words. Paradoxes are an important tool in literature to capture other’s interests and provoke modern ideas; on the flip side, oxymoron words are unaccepted. Paradox displays a complicated thing in a simple statement, whereas oxymoron is an ancient Greek word ‘oxumoron’ meant ‘sharp and moros,’ having the complete meaning of ‘Dull.’


In common sense, the paradox is not acceptable, but it is real; on the other side, an oxymoron is an adjective-noun or adverb adjective to highlight extra effect and comparison. When you face a Paradox statement, you will consider it true and false simultaneously, while oxymoron is an explanatory statement.

If the paradox’s section is real, then the other would not be real; on the contrary, you can also find oxymoron in conjunction. The paradox was firstly introduced in 1500-1600; on the other hand, oxymoron’s idea first introduced in 1657.

Comparison Chart

The paradox is a real statement of an event that describes revelation.Oxymoron is two opposite words.
LiteratureLinguistic(figure of speech)
Situation/rhetoricIt has no further types.
Region’s most active economy has the most embryonic financial systems.It is weird not to be weird.

What is Paradox?

The paradox is a logical term but opposite. Paradox has several words in it. It also may be a complete paragraph for the description of a thing — the word paradox taken from the Latin language ‘paradoxum.’

In Greek, it is derived from ‘paradoxis,’ which means ‘contradictory to what is expected.’ The paradox is the opposite concept to show the hidden and unforeseen reality. Paradox acts as a self-contradictory notion. A paradoxical user thinks in an advanced and original way.

It also provides an extra shield of meaning to a word. Paradoxes have two types of ‘the situation paradoxis and rhetoric paradox.’ A rhetorical paradox is a visible opposite description presented by a character.

The situational paradox is an event or a condition that is opposite. In a rich country, there may be more poverty, which is the best notion of paradox. A paradox is a proposition that came from reasonable premises and resulted in an outcome that is not sensible.


  • Less is more
  • Your enemy’s enemy is your best friend.
  • All cats are unique creatures, but some are unique to others.
  • ‘Child is the father of the man.’
  • I can resist anything but temptation.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • Good winners know how to lose badly.
  • ‘He seeds to absorb the Baffling paradoxes of quantum, The theory with ease.’

What is Oxymoron?

An oxymoron, the first and second words have thoroughly opposite meanings. e.g., jumbo shrimp, military intelligence, icy hot, and hottie coldy. In general, the oxymoron is a noun, comes before an adjective. e.g., the good, bad, mature male, living death, irregular pattern, sin virtue, an original copy, falsely true and controlled chaos, etc.

To understand it simpler, we can say that an oxymoron is the explanation of something with the help of two words. These two words also have contradicted meaning to each other. When you share a joke with your friend, and he says in reply that this joke is seriously funny.

It is the highest use of oxymoron. Let’s consider two people work in a restaurant and have an affair. But everyone in this restaurant knows about their relationship. It is said to be an open secret. But when we went to their detail, we convince from the reality of their happening.

We use oxymoron for more description. As in the statement, ‘be cruel to be more kind’ means that to become kinder, we have to show the cruelty. As to good something firstly we have to do bad. To fulfill a condition, we may have to pass another condition that is completely unacceptable for it.


  • And faithful unfaithful kept him falsely true.
  • ‘O heavy lightness! Seriously vanity!
  • Misshapen chaos pf well seeming forms.’
  • ‘Down the close darkening lanes, they sang their way.
  • To the siding shed
  • And lined the train with faces grimly–gay.’

Key Differences

  1. A paradox is a phrase like ‘freedom is slavery’ whereas oxymoron is the group of two opposite words like ‘cold fire.’
  2. The paradox is a complete sentence; on the other hand, oxymoron has two opposite words just.
  3. The paradox is an opposite activity; conversely, the oxymoron is an explanatory statement.
  4. The paradox is a contradictory idea to display the masked reality; on the flip side, the oxymoron is explanatory words.
  5. Paradox has two further types, while oxymoron has no more division.
  6. The paradox consists of an unexpected situation; on the other hand, oxymoron has two opposite words.
  7. Paradox helps to develop modern ideas, but oxymoron provides dramatic results.


Paradox and oxymoron both are literary devices and also seem to have the same meaning. But when we deeply study them, we came to know a lot of differences between them.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson