- 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.
Origin of irony1
synonym study for irony
Words nearby irony
Other definitions for irony (2 of 2)
How to use irony in a sentence
That raised a particular irony, since Jones himself is arguably the Capitol’s biggest opponent of remote voting.Sacramento Report: Jones, COVID-19 and the Irony of Remote Voting|Sara Libby and Jesse Marx|August 28, 2020|Voice of San Diego
It’s no small irony the movement is based on fraudulent data, published by the now disgraced Andrew Wakefield, an English gastroenterologist.How Pseudoscientists Get Away With It - Facts So Romantic|Stuart Firestein|August 28, 2020|Nautilus
The grand irony being that they all blame each other for, well, who’s to blame.Why an Amazon and Airbnb vet joined a digital health company that wants to slash drug prices|Sy Mukherjee|August 24, 2020|Fortune
It’s a bitter irony that the e-waste mountains collecting in the world’s poorest places actually contain a fortune.We’re Using Microbes to Clean Up Toxic Electronic Waste. Here’s How|Sebastien Farnaud|August 20, 2020|Singularity Hub
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.There is a crisis of face recognition and policing in the US|Tate Ryan-Mosley|August 14, 2020|MIT Technology Review
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
The root of the word irony is in the Greek eironeia, “liar.”Up to a Point: They Made Me Write About Lena Dunham|P. J. O’Rourke|December 13, 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
This unreasoning, feminine obstinacy so wrought upon him that he permitted himself a smile and a lapse into irony and banter.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
Today her irony was concealed, but, like a carefully-covered fire, he knew it was burning still.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
Barrington winced a little, for he recognized the irony in the failing voice, but he rose and moved towards the bed.Winston of the Prairie|Harold Bindloss
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.Camille (La Dame aux Camilias)|Alexandre Dumas, fils
Ovid looked a bit doubtful, but Scattergood's voice was so interested, so bland, that any suspicion of irony was allayed.Scattergood Baines|Clarence Budington Kelland
British Dictionary definitions for irony (1 of 2)
Word Origin for irony
British Dictionary definitions for irony (2 of 2)
Cultural definitions for irony
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.