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View synonyms for irony

irony

1

[ ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er- ]

noun

, plural i·ro·nies.
  1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning:

    the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

  2. Literature.
    1. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
    2. (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.
  3. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
  4. the incongruity of this.
  5. an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.
  6. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.


irony

2

[ ahy-er-nee ]

adjective

  1. consisting of, containing, or resembling the metal iron:

    an irony color.

irony

1

/ ˈaɪənɪ /

adjective

  1. of, resembling, or containing iron


irony

2

/ ˈaɪrənɪ /

noun

  1. the humorous or mildly sarcastic use of words to imply the opposite of what they normally mean
  2. an instance of this, used to draw attention to some incongruity or irrationality
  3. incongruity between what is expected to be and what actually is, or a situation or result showing such incongruity
  4. philosophy See Socratic irony

irony

  1. 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 .


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Word History and Origins

Origin of irony1

First recorded in 1495–1505; from Latin īrōnīa, from Greek eirōneía “dissimulation, sarcasm, understatement,” equivalent to eírōn “a dissembler” + -eia -y 3

Origin of irony2

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English ireni; iron + -y 1( def )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of irony1

C16: from Latin ironia, from Greek eirōneia, from eirōn dissembler, from eirein to speak
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Synonym Study

Irony, sarcasm, satire indicate mockery of something or someone. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied, as in the comment, “Beautiful weather, isn't it?” made when it is raining or nasty. Ironic literature exploits, in addition to the rhetorical figure, such devices as character development, situation, and plot to stress the paradoxical nature of reality or the contrast between an ideal and actual condition, set of circumstances, etc., frequently in such a way as to stress the absurdity present in the contradiction between substance and form. Irony differs from sarcasm in greater subtlety and wit. In sarcasm ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony, as in “What a fine musician you turned out to be!” or it may be used in the form of a direct statement, “You couldn't play one piece correctly if you had two assistants.” The distinctive quality of sarcasm is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflection, whereas satire and irony, arising originally as literary and rhetorical forms, are exhibited in the organization or structuring of either language or literary material. Satire usually implies the use of irony or sarcasm for censorious or critical purposes and is often directed at public figures or institutions, conventional behavior, political situations, etc.
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Example Sentences

That raised a particular irony, since Jones himself is arguably the Capitol’s biggest opponent of remote voting.

It’s no small irony the movement is based on fraudulent data, published by the now disgraced Andrew Wakefield, an English gastroenterologist.

The grand irony being that they all blame each other for, well, who’s to blame.

From Fortune

It’s a bitter irony that the e-waste mountains collecting in the world’s poorest places actually contain a fortune.

The dark irony is that, when people take to the streets to protest racism in policing, some police have used cutting-edge tools with a known racial bias against those assembled.

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.

The irony has thinned with the economy, perhaps: Who can really afford just to pretend to DIY today?

The root of the word irony is in the Greek eironeia, “liar.”

Lacking any sense of irony, Eldridge made campaign-finance reform a signature plank.

This unreasoning, feminine obstinacy so wrought upon him that he permitted himself a smile and a lapse into irony and banter.

Today her irony was concealed, but, like a carefully-covered fire, he knew it was burning still.

Barrington winced a little, for he recognized the irony in the failing voice, but he rose and moved towards the bed.

As you will see, I was unable to end my letter without a touch of impertinent irony, which proved how much in love I still was.

Ovid looked a bit doubtful, but Scattergood's voice was so interested, so bland, that any suspicion of irony was allayed.

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ironworksIroquoian