noun, plural i·ro·nies.
- a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
- (especially in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.
- iroquois league,
Origin of irony1
Origin of irony2
Examples from the Web for irony
It may be fun and it may get them paid, until oversaturation ruins our sense for irony and destroys the market for it.
The irony did not escape one local, Laith Hathim, as he stood and watched the newly minted refugees make their way into Mosul.Has the Kurdish Victory at Sinjar Turned the Tide of ISIS War?|Niqash|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The irony has thinned with the economy, perhaps: Who can really afford just to pretend to DIY today?Glenn Beck Is Now Selling Hipster Clothes. Really.|Ana Marie Cox|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Lacking any sense of irony, Eldridge made campaign-finance reform a signature plank.The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple|James Kirchick|December 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The irony is that communities are protesting stereotyping—as cops respond in stereotypical ways.
The eyes were large and gray, the expression that of a contemplative savant, with a faint dash of irony in their glance.Ghosts I Have Seen|Violet Tweedale
And he smiled in a grim sort of irony at himself, for he knew that he was lost.To Leeward|F. Marion Crawford
They are the record of a stubborn, prejudiced, well-trained musician and well-read man, one who was not devoid of irony.Old Fogy|James Huneker
This may have been ironical on Nicol's part, but he might have spared his irony on his friend, for the promotion never came.Robert Burns|Principal Shairp.
There is irony in this suggestion of the mercantile value of war on the lips of a spokesman of paupers.Shakespeare and the Modern Stage|Sir Sidney Lee
noun plural -nies
Word Origin for irony
c.1500, from Latin ironia, from Greek eironeia "dissimulation, assumed ignorance," from eiron "dissembler," perhaps related to eirein "to speak" (see verb). Used in Greek of affected ignorance, especially that of Socrates. For nuances of usage, see humor. Figurative use for "condition opposite to what might be expected; contradictory circumstances" is from 1640s.
The use of words to mean something very different from what they appear on the surface to mean. Jonathan Swift uses irony in “A Modest Proposal” when he suggests the eating of babies as a solution to overpopulation and starvation in Ireland.