What is the difference between Oxymoron and Hyperbole?

The difference between oxymoron and hyperbole

is that "oxymoron" is a figure of speech in which two words or phrases with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect and "hyperbole" is deliberate or unintentional overstatement, particularly extreme overstatement.




  • (rhetoric) A figure of speech in which two words or phrases with opposing meanings are used together intentionally for effect.
  • (loosely, sometimes proscribed) A contradiction in terms.


  • pleonasm, redundancy

Related terms

  • moron
  • oxalic
  • oxy-
  • paradox
  • paroxysm
  • sophomore


  • In Oxymoron jarring phrases joinAnd terms opposed in harmony combine.]
  • For Theodor Adorno and his colleagues at the Frankfurt School who coined the term, “culture industry” was an oxymoron, intended to set up a critical contrast between the exploitative, repetitive mode of industrial mass production under capitalism and the associations of transformative power and aesthetico-moral transcendence that the concept of culture carried in the 1940s, when it still meant “high” culture.


  • (uncountable, rhetoric, literature) Deliberate or unintentional overstatement, particularly extreme overstatement.
  • (countable) An instance or example of such overstatement.
  • (countable, obsolete) A hyperbola.


  • (rhetoric): overstatement, exaggeration, auxesis


  • (rhetoric): See understatement

Related terms

  • hyperbola


  • Hyperbole soars too high, or creeps too low,Exceeds the truth, things wonderful to shew.]
  • The great staircase, however, may be termed, without much hyperbole, a feature of grandeur and magnificence.
  • “Nay, nay, good Sumach,” interrupted the Deerslayer, whose love of truth was too indomitable to listen to such hyperbole, with patience […]
  • Of course the hymn has come to us from somewhere else, but I do not know from where; and the average native of our village firmly believes that it is indigenous to our own soil—which it can not be, unless it deals in hyperbole, for the nearest approach to a river in our neighborhood is the village pond.
  • The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. ..People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.
  • In these circumstances, hyperbole is called for, the rhetorical figure that raises its objects up, excessively, way above their actual merit : it is not to deceive by exaggeration that one overshoots the mark, but to allow the true value, the truth of what is insufficiently valued, to appear.
  • The perennial problem, especially for the BBC, has been to reconcile the hyperbole-driven agenda of newspapers with the requirement of balance, which is crucial to the public service remit.
  • […] and when he ſpeakes,’Tis like a Chime a mending. With tearmes vnſquar’Which from the tongue of roaring Typhon dropt,Would ſeemes Hyperboles
  • The honourable gentleman forces us to hear a good deal of this detestable rhetoric; and then he asks why, if the secretaries of the Nizam and the King of Oude use all these tropes and hyperboles, Lord Ellenborough should not indulge in the same sort of eloquence?