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A word for two very different things juxtaposed?

What is the word to describe when two ideas (often contrasting) are placed next to each other to enhance the situation or idea being presented? I believe it could describe the placement of two words or ideas in a poem, or two melodies in a song, or two objects in a piece of art.

marked as duplicate by aedia λ, kiamlaluno, simchona, Matt E. Эллен, Alenanno Aug 28 '11 at 18:42

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  • The placement of two contrasting ideas in a poem is oxymoron. But it applies to words and terms, not really to other fields. – Alenanno Aug 27 '11 at 16:01
  • Nice question and +1 – Tarik Aug 28 '11 at 12:05
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    @aedia - actually I was looking for the word juxtaposition, so this can't be a duplicate. – user12466 Aug 28 '11 at 13:37
  • If you were looking for juxtaposition, then this is not a well-formed question. – Kris Jan 4 '12 at 7:39

I'll add:


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    Though N.B. the word "juxtaposition" on its own simply means "placing next to each other": if you want to describe specifically the notion of an unusual/inappropriate arrangement, it's worth adding an adjective-- as I say, "incongruous" is one option that's sometimes used. – Neil Coffey Aug 27 '11 at 16:35

One such word is counterpoint. This is particularly used in music.

Another word, particularly used in literature, is antithesis.


You could talk about an incongruous juxtaposition of ideas.