[ sat-ahyuhr ]
See synonyms for satire on
  1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, to expose, denounce, or deride the folly or corruption of institutions, people, or social structures:The success of the production stems from its balance of affectionate comedy and well-observed satire.

  2. a work of art, literature, or entertainment in which the folly and corruption of human beings, institutions, or social structures are exposed, denounced, or ridiculed:The skit offended only those who didn’t recognize it as a political satire. Did you notice that all the novels on her bookshelf were satires?

  1. a genre of literature, art, or entertainment comprising such works:The eighteenth century is considered British literature’s golden age of satire.

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Origin of satire

First recorded in 1500–10; from Latin satira, variant of satura “medley,” perhaps feminine derivative of satur “sated” (see saturate)

synonym study For satire

1. See irony1. 2, 3. Satire, lampoon refer to literary forms in which vices or follies are ridiculed. Satire, the general term, often emphasizes the weakness more than the weak person, and usually implies moral judgment and corrective purpose: Swift's satire of human pettiness and bestiality. Lampoon refers to a form of satire, often political or personal, characterized by the malice or virulence of its attack: lampoons of the leading political figures.

Other words for satire

Other words from satire

  • non·sat·ire, noun

Words that may be confused with satire

Words Nearby satire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use satire in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for satire


/ (ˈsætaɪə) /

  1. a novel, play, entertainment, etc, in which topical issues, folly, or evil are held up to scorn by means of ridicule and irony

  2. the genre constituted by such works

  1. the use of ridicule, irony, etc, to create such an effect

Origin of satire

C16: from Latin satira a mixture, from satur sated, from satis enough

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for satire


A work of literature that mocks social conventions, another work of art, or anything its author thinks ridiculous. Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is a satire of eighteenth-century British society.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.