noun, plural par·o·dies.
  1. a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing: his hilarious parody of Hamlet's soliloquy.
  2. the genre of literary composition represented by such imitations.
  3. a burlesque imitation of a musical composition.
  4. any humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation, as of a person, event, etc.
  5. the use in the 16th century of borrowed material in a musical setting of the Mass (parody Mass).
  6. a poor or feeble imitation or semblance; travesty: His acting is a parody of his past greatness.
verb (used with object), par·o·died, par·o·dy·ing.
  1. to imitate (a composition, author, etc.) for purposes of ridicule or satire.
  2. to imitate poorly or feebly; travesty.

Origin of parody

1590–1600; < Latin parōdia a parody < Greek parōidía a burlesque song or poem. See par-, ode, -y3
Related formspar·o·di·a·ble, adjectiveself-par·o·dy, noun, plural self·-par·o·dies.un·par·o·died, adjective
Can be confusedburlesque caricature cartoon parody satire (see synonym study at burlesque)

Synonym study

1, 2. See burlesque. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-parody

Contemporary Examples of self-parody

  • Domestically, its Jewish outreach efforts have reached the point of self-parody.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama, Don't Go Wobbly on Israel

    Peter Beinart

    July 6, 2010

  • Remaining a pop phenomenon for 20 years without dying or lapsing into self-parody is quite a feat.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Book on Aging Rockers

    Jane Ciabattari

    June 29, 2010

  • Douglas, often a rather stolid actor, possessed the savvy to come near the brink of self-parody without falling over the edge.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Killed Gordon Gekko?

    Richard Porton

    May 14, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for self-parody


  1. the act or an instance of mimicking oneself in a humorous or satirical way


noun plural -dies
  1. a musical, literary, or other composition that mimics the style of another composer, author, etc, in a humorous or satirical way
  2. mimicry of someone's individual manner in a humorous or satirical way
  3. something so badly done as to seem an intentional mockery; travesty
verb -dies, -dying or -died
  1. (tr) to make a parody of
Derived Formsparodic (pəˈrɒdɪk) or parodical, adjectiveparodist, noun

Word Origin for parody

C16: via Latin from Greek paroidiā satirical poem, from para- 1 + ōidē song
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

Word Origin and History for self-parody



c.1745, from parody (n.). Related: Parodied; parodying.



1590s (first recorded use in English is in Ben Jonson), from or in imitation of Latin parodia "parody," from Greek paroidia "burlesque song or poem," from para- "beside, parallel to" (see para- (1), in this case, "mock-") + oide "song, ode" (see ode). The meaning "poor or feeble imitation" is from 1830. Related: Parodic; parodical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-parody in Culture


In art, music, or literature, a satire that mimics the style of its object.

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.